Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


National Transplant Week


The Association for Anatomical Pathology Technology are pleased to remind members that next week, 8th-14th July, is National Transplant Week.

There are lots of events across the country to encourage people to sign up to become an organ donor and this year people are being encouraged to discuss their wishes with their family. One of the main obstacles to tissue donation is that family members do not know when people have registered to be an organ donor.

Anatomical Pathology Technologists (APTs) have an important role to play in many centres to help, or facilitate tissue retrieval. Many APTs are actively involved in tissue retrieval, especially enucleation, and do this as part of their on call out of hours service. Others help facilitate the tissue retrieval by opening up their mortuaries to the tissue bank teams. Timing is vital to maximise the viability of tissue and we would like to remind APTs of those all important times:

• Corneas must be retrieved within 24 hours of death
• All other tissues (e.g. bone, skin, heart valves, tendons etc) must be retrieved within 48 hours providing the deceased has been refrigerated (cooled) within 6 hours of death
• If the deceased hasn't been refrigerated (cooled) in time the retrieval must occur within 12 hours of death
This is the guidance given in the Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services, UK 8th Edition, Chapter 21

Often the retrieval team will arrive well within the time scale thus ensuring the tissue is of optimum quality. It is important that we work together to ensure that as APTs we do everything we can to assist in fulfilling the wishes of the deceased and/or their families.

If you want to find out more about this year’s events information is on the website

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