Standard procedure for sending items home with patients

Media release 15 February 2018 | What is the standard procedure for sending items home with patients?

Patients who wish to take tissue home with them would be required to fill out a Request for Return of Tissue part of the  Surgical Consent form, and a Request form Amputated Tissue/limb return form. The tissue would then be stored for three months for the patient to collect.(As per the Amputated limb/tissue return form) At collection time the patient is given information about the best care for the tissue.

Why do patients take items home?

In most cases patients take tissue home for cultural reasons.

How common is it for patients to take home items following surgery?       

It is not an uncommon practice, and as an estimate the hospital facilitates the return/disposal (as per the  patients request) of more than 1200tissue /amputated limbs a year.

What is the procedure for items that are left in patients after surgery?

This would be considered a Serious and Sentinel  Event which would be reported to the Adverse Events Committee and, where indicated, the item would be removed.

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