Automatic Slide Stainers are the Best and Worst invention for the Hematology Lab

 

The Hematology Instrument -- The Slide Stainer

Today's popular heme instruments run (mostly) buttery smooth. Low maintenance, low downtimes, less confusion. Oh but then the instrument reflexes a peripheral smear and then it gets ugly. To the slide stainer it goes. Will the tube even make it through it? Who knows. Go ahead, stainer, and mix the tube before making the slide then.. oh you threw the tube. Where did it go. Did it roll into chemistry? Did it fall INSIDE of the stainer? Oh god, there's stain leaking all over the inside too. Wait no, the methanol line burst leaking onto some old stain buildup and it's all washing away. It just tried to make a slide, but somehow lost it. Now the slide stainer literally has no idea where the slide is and neither do I because the little diagram map isn't very helpful. It's not by the drying fan like you say it is. Oh the label ribbon is out too. How do you even install a new one of these? Oh okay, we figured it out with a team effort. But now the ribbon isn't translating to the slide. I quit. Don't forget to 'wash the dishes' and clean all of the cassettes out with methanol. I quit.

When I started working at my first job we had an "automatic" slide stainer. Nothing like today's SP-1000i or the like. 

The Hematek

The Hematek. Ol reliable. 

I do remember what our backup stainer looked like at other jobs that did have true automatic built in to the automation line slide stainers. 

Midas slide stainer

The beast. The thing looks like it needs a backup of itself, but hey. When things break, they break.

I still love you Sysmex. 

Comments