RE: [Histonet] Fetal Remains

From:"Bauer, Karen"

Hi Lynne,

We save all POC's that have a fetus no matter what age or gms.  We put
it in a "Save" drawer and then they are buried every spring in a mass
burial that we have with another hospital in town.  Anything that is
over the 20 wks or 400 gms needs to have an autopsy or disposal form
signed by the parents if they do not want the fetus back for a family
burial.  The ones close to full term are kept in the morgue.  The other
hospital takes care of all the arrangements and contacts me as to when
the funeral home will be coming to pick up the specimens.  Any family
who wishes to be notified of the date and time of the burial is called
by our Resolve Through Sharing group.

All tissues/specimens that are requested by a patient needs to be picked
up by a licensed funeral director.  We do not want to be responsible for
what these patients are doing with these specimens.  If the funeral
director gives the "specimen" to the patient, that is their choice and
we are not liable for anything.

I hope this helps a little,

Karen Bauer HT(ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Luther Hospital
Eau Claire, WI

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Bell,
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 12:23 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Fetal Remains

I am interested how other hospital handle and/or dispose of fetal
remains.  In particular, I am interested in "products of conception"
where there is an actual formed fetus.  How long do you retain this
specimen, how do you dispose of it, do you have the mother sign a
"release of remains".  In the state of Vermont, a fetal death is 20
weeks and over OR 400 grams and over and we require an autopsy permit
for this.  If it is smaller than 400 grams or less than 20 weeks, it is
considered a surgical specimen.


Of course, the reason I am asking is our hospital was recently sued for
disposing of a 200 gram fetus after following our Histology policy of
disposing of surgical specimens six weeks from accession date.  We are
naturally "gun-shy" at this point to even discard any "products of
conception".  Your wisdom and guidance will be truly appreciated.





Lynne A. Bell, HT (ASCP)

Central Vermont Hospital

P. O. Box 547

Barre, VT  05641



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