RE: Fetus/POC Policy

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From:"MacDonald, Jennifer" <>, "''" <>
Date:Fri, 22 Oct 1999 14:52:16 -0700

	We have had this happen also.   When there is a request to view a
fetus that was received in formalin we rinse the fetus well and wrap it in a
receiving blanket.  Maternity staff usually picks up the fetus to have the
parents view.  They then return the fetus to us.  We put it back into the
formalin and keep it as we would any other surgical specimen.  If a fetus is
over 20 weeks it must be buried (or cremated).  If under 20 weeks we DO NOT
release it to the parents.  If they choose to have a funeral then they must
make arrangements with a mortuary.  We will only release the remains to a
mortuary, never to the parents.  Under 20 week I believe is considered
medical waste and cannot be released to the public.

	Jennifer MacDonald
	San Antonio Community Hospital
	Upland, CA  91786
	(909) 985-2811 extension 4148

> Hello Histonetters, 
>                I have an interesting story/question. Twice this year I
> have 
> been asked by the family of a patient who had fetal demise (delivered or 
> c/s), at 19wks to view the fetus. Now, I would normally have no objections
> (even though I feel it isn't something wonderful to see for the grieving 
> family) but in both of these instances, we received the fetus/placenta 
> already in 10% Zinc Formalin (they have Formalin in the OB unit and bring
> the 
> specimens to the lab already submerged). Does anyone out there have or 
> implemented a policy regarding this situation? My risk manager was at a
> loss 
> as to what to come of the situation, so we tried to sway the family's 
> descision (at no avail) and we ended up letting them "view" the fetus
> through 
> the original container (frosted and impossible to see anything clearly), 
> telling them they were unable to open the container due to the hazardous 
> materials contained in it. This apparently was enough "closure" for them
> and 
> they were satisfied. But my risk manager and I still want to make a
> hospital 
> policy concerning this issue. I am in Florida and I was wondering if state
> or 
> local laws regarding Formalin and patient/non-hospital employees contact 
> would be an issue? OSHA maybe? We have a release form for fetus' to
> funeral 
> homes only, but we never release Formalin contaminated tissue/objects to a
> patient. Has this happened to anyone else out there? What did you do? I
> would 
> really appreciate any information you might have. 
> K. Zajic 
> Histology Supervisor
> West Palm Beach, FL

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