Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


A 2022 highlight - Annual Educational Event

AAPT Council member Gemma Norburn RSciTech MAAPT reports on a highlight of the AAPT year

On the 24th September 2022 Anatomical Pathology Technologists descended upon the city of Liverpool and gathered at the Holiday Inn for the AAPT AEE (Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology Annual Education Event).

This was the first one I have attended since 2019 and the fourth I have attended in total since I began working in the mortuary in 2017. AEE is a great opportunity for APTs to network, meet representatives from various companies and hear talks from some great speakers.

This year was no exception, with fascinating topics such as consent, bereavement, post-mortem CT scanning and disaster victim identification.

Many of the topics were presented by APTs, and it was great to hear the work that others have done alongside the passion and drive they have for their roles. The morning opened with an update from the Human Tissue Authority representatives Shane and Michelle who had asked for questions prior to the day that they could discuss. The HTA attend each year and it is good to be able to speak to them regarding anything, but also to be able to put a friendly face or two to the regulatory body.

The second talk of the morning was the one I was most excited to hear about.

Professor Lucy Easthope is an expert in disaster planning, and I loved her book ‘When The Dust Settles’ which came out this year. Lucy’s work with some of the major disaster events of our time is invaluable, one thing that really stuck with me is the huge importance of personal items to family members who have lost someone in a disaster. It made me see that no matter what we consider to be disposable or not worth keeping, should always be kept as it could mean a lot to someone left behind. 

Sarah Davis FAAPT from Birmingham Women’s Hospital, who I had the opportunity to work with on a placement in 2019, gave great talk just after lunch about the investigation into sudden infant and child death which she is an expert in.

Sarah provided an excellent insight into the post-mortem process and what is examined, which can greatly differ from an adult post-mortem in many ways. Two other talks that took place which are worth mentioning was, firstly, one presented by two embalmers, Rachel Carline and Andrew Floyd, who discussed the process that takes place once a deceased leaves the care of the APTs which is something that we might not always consider.

Secondly, and the final talk of the day, was by Professor Sebastian Lucas who discussed the forty years since the first HIV post-mortem and what was known and conducted in the first years. This talk really highlighted how important post-mortem work can be in looking at disease and viruses, seems pertinent in the times towards the hopeful end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next AAPT AEE will take place in Milton Keynes on Saturday 30th September 2023 with confirmed talks from Dr Suzy Lishman and Dr Matthew Clarke, and I will be booking my place as soon as possible!




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