What do hospitals do with amputated tissue?

23 November 2008

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Question

What do hospitals do with amputated tissue?

Answer

Kat - In the UK human tissue is regulated by the human tissue authority so there are quite a lot of rules about how you'd have to dispose of it. With some things that are taken off people you may be offered them to take them home, if you'd like to. Most things you probably don't want your diseased leg back. It depends what was wrong with the part of you that has been taken off. For example, it may be sent down to the pathology lab so it can be cut up. You can look at it, you can see what was wrong with it. In some cases with the consent of the person whose tissue it was it may be for research. This happens for things like cancers. We try and bank them so we can study them in the future. There's been quite a lot of things in the news, not so much recently, about people's organs being stored without consent. If you don't consent to research and they don't want it, you don't want it it'll probably just be destroyed. Usually by incineration. Here in the UK a lot of this disposal is contracted out to companies that take all the nasty body bits and tissue away and burn it somewhere.

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