Re: Products of Conception

From:Jennifer MacDonald

In the last facility that I worked (California) products of conception under
20 weeks were considered a specimen and were disposed as such.  Any POC 20
weeks and older is considered an infant and must have buriel (cremation)
arrangements made.  Some parents would choose to bury a fetus less than 20
weeks.  We would remove the baby from formalin, wash it, wrap in a receiving
blanket and cap and place in a small cadaver bag for pick up by the
morturary. Babies 20 weeks and older were usually sent to the morgue, in
cadaver bags (no formalin) awaiting pathology pickup. After the patholgist
gave a description and removed tissue for examination the infant was
returned to the morgue for mortuary pickup. The "remains" were never
returned directly to the family.  They had to be released to a morturary
regardless of age if the family chose a funeral rather than disposal as a

Jennifer MacDonald

> OH yuk.
> This reminds me of my trip to UK where they were having "Tissue Retention
> problems.  At the time they had to treat every case as if it were a fetus
> return even a single cell to the family if they wanted it.
> What is the USA policy for handling POC's, embryo, fetus, etc.  Is there a
> minimun age/size which determines how the tissue is handled by the
> lab.  I imagine this policy is determined locally and that there is no
> national" policy on the issue.  I would love to hear from those who have
> policies regarding this issue.  Please respond to me directly at
> because I am going to unsubscribe from histonet for a
> and I do not want to start a hub bub on the listserv.
> Patsy
> "Mackinnon, John" wrote:
> > I would like to conduct a little survey of labs that receive therapeutic
> > abortions.  For facilities that utilize the collection devices that
> > the sock like gauze sacs how do receive them?  Does the procedure room
> > submit the entire collection device to the lab in the fresh state or do
> > remove the sack from the collection device and submit it in formalin?
> > of course excludes cases that require special attention such as
> > testing.
> >
> > Much to our displeasure we receive them in the fresh state still in the
> > collection device.  Our nurses do not want to risk exposure so this is
> > we get them.
> >
> > Thanks in advance,
> >
> > John MacKinnon MLT, ART
> > Charge Technologist Pathology
> > Lakeridge Health Oshawa
> > 905-576-8711 ext. 4358
> >

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