Re: Releasing unfixed specimens

From:Bryan Llewellyn

We had many requests for placentas over the last few years.  The hospital
administration eventually banned giving back those in formalin, which was
done automatically when it came to the lab (except for those with a genetics
request).  Only fresh placentas were given out and that had to be by the
midwife (or obstetrician).  In BC midwives are trained solely in midwifery
and have an independant college for licensing.  They are not nurses nor
physicians.  One of our midwives encouraged her mothers to take the placenta
home with them.

What I want to know is what the mothers do with them.  Do they eat them, as
mothers do some countries?  Do they bury them for some spiritual purpose? Do
they dry them for display?

Nobody in Prince George appears to know, at least in the lab.  If you know,
please tell me.  I'm really curious.

Bryan Llewellyn

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 9:12 AM
Subject: Releasing unfixed specimens

> I was wondering if any of you have a release form that you require
> to sign if they are taking possession of an unfixed tissue specimen.  We
> require them to sign a release on fixed specimens pertaining to the
> hazardous nature of formalin and provide them with an MSDS sheet (we do
> rinse off as much of the formalin as possible).  Recently we have requests
> from patients that want their placentas.  Some placentas we do hold
> for a certain time frame in case pathology or genetic studies are ordered.
> Do any of you have a release form pertaining to the biohazardous nature of
> unfixed specimens?  Thanks for any input.
> Mary Eller
> St. Peter's Hospital
> Helena, MT

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