Evaluation of the autopsy report before releasing musculoskeletal tissue donors; what is the benefit?
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EU directive 2006/17/EC requires that all available medical information, including the autopsy report, is evaluated before releasing tissues for transplantation. The study objective was to investigate whether evaluation of autopsy results of musculoskeletal tissue donors contributes to safety and availability of transplantable tissues. The files of all donors of whom musculoskeletal tissues were retrieved by BIS in 2006 were reviewed for death cause and autopsy results. Of 84 donors musculoskeletal tissues were retrieved. In 47 donors autopsy was performed (56.0%). The groups with and without autopsy were similar in sex, age, length, and weight. In one donor no autopsy results were evaluated, since the donor was already rejected because of positive blood tests. In 13 donors (28.1%) death causes before autopsy were unknown. In 12 of these donors a death cause could be established after autopsy. In nine of the donors with a clear suspected death cause (27.3%), the death cause after autopsy differed from the suspected death cause. Four donors with autopsy (8.7%) had a general contraindication for donation, a (possible) sepsis in three and a persisting unknown death cause in one. Eight donors (17.4%) had musculoskeletal-specific contraindications, i.e. local infections. In conclusion, in 26.1% of the donors with autopsy, general or musculoskeletal-specific contraindications for donation were found. Furthermore, performance of autopsies enlarges the potential donor pool, since death causes can be established in almost all autopsies done in case of an unknown death cause. Therefore, evaluation of autopsy results improves the safety and quantity of tissues for transplantation.
KeywordsAutopsy Bone Donor selection EU directive 2006/17/EC Musculoskeletal tissue Safety Tissue transplantation
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