RE: Warm water block soak

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From:Nymeyer <> (by way of histonet)
Date:Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:47:21 -0500
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We have had some success with warming the blocks, but I thought I would
share this helpful tip I obtained a few years back.

For those hard or brittle specimens, we soak the blocks (after facing) in a
mixture of fabric softener and water (1:1 ratio). Soaking time is 2 -3 mins.
This mixture is also great for blocks containing a large amount of blood.
Just by brushing on a small amount with a paint brush, you can obtain your
sections immediately.  There is no adverse effects with subsequent staining.
I have tried different brands of softener, and found them all to produce the
same results.

Heather Nymeyer
Royal Inland Hospital
Kamloops, BC

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: October 27, 1999 5:16 PM
Subject: warm water block soak

Hi everyone,
    I'm an old war-horse HT working in a small community hospital doing
routine histology. I'm just curious if anyone else has used a warm water
for their paraffin blocks (after facing) to improve sectioning. I have found
this technique very helpful in the sectioning of brittle biopsies and bloody
specimens. The crushed ice and water soak prior to sectioning allows a few
good sections after soak, but the warm water soak lets us get several
 before we encounter dried out tissue. This has cut down on chatter, time
spent re-soaking and over-all quality of sections.
Any feedback?

Maureen Tomblin HT(ASCP)
Union Hospital
Elkton, MD

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