Re: Problems with Processed specimens


Dear David,
        I don't like the sound of blobs in the wax. This is not xylene as it would dissolve. It may be alcohol or formalin. Is there any chance someone put formalin instead of alcohol in the alcohol slot or even in the xylene slot ? Are the tissues soft and mushy? If so this might be the case.

        Poor quality formalin would be noticable at the fixation stage, more noticable in bloody tissues as the red would not go brown. I have had problems with TBS and they told me I was the only one in the UK, Ireland or Europe who had a problem with their leaking 2.5 L plastic containers of xylene. Also I had problems with their neat 40% formaldehyde. The 10% formalin I made from it formed a gradient in my 25 L drum and by the time we used the last 10 L it was more alcohol than formalin  and the tissues went clear pink rather than brown. I returned the product to them and never heard back from them what the problem was. They told me that they have a QA check on their 10% formalin but not the 40%. The person I spoke with was from Diachem who supplied TBS. and he was not very nice.

Annette Ryan FAMLS
Histology Lab
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
Co Louth

At 07:45 PM 9/9/02 +0100, David Muskett wrote:
Dear Histonetters
I am writing to ask for some advice.
We have suddenly started having problems with our processing. The blocks have become much more difficult to cut. The amount of nuclear detail is very poor. The nuclei show no chromatin detail and have a ground glass appearance. The staining is awful and far too red.
I think the problem relates to the processor, there seems to be some peculiar blobs in the wax. I think these may be xylene and alcohol.
There is some suggestion within the department that the problem may be due to a bad batch of fixative. We are using bought in filled specimen pots from TBS in the UK. Has anybody in the UK experienced problems with pre-filled buffered formal saline specimen pots from TBS.
Does anybody have any answers?
I can send photos to anybody who can offer help.
Thanks in advance
David Muskett
Alder Hey Children's Hospital
Liverpool, UK

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>