Recovery and Processing

Recovery
We work closely with the UMTB Donor Services Foundation, and other partners to recover tissues aseptically and process them by strict adherence to surgical principles and cleanroom protocols. Recoveries are performed in our facility or, when the donor cannot be transferred, in hospital or hospital-like operating rooms. Following the tissue recovery, the technologists reconstruct the donor for funeral services or requested arrangements.

Processing methods
All tissue processing is performed in Class 100 cleanrooms to minimize cell damage and promote normal function. Bone tissue is processed into fresh, frozen, freeze-dried, or demineralized products such as wound therapy and graft forms for the skin, amnion, or dermis. These products provide a structural matrix to facilitate new bone growth in the recipient.

Microbiological quality control testing
We perform multiple bacterial cultures on each tissue recovered and processed. Bacterial culturing is done on each tissue at the time of recovery and at final packaging. Aseptic tissue products must be culture negative at the time of final packaging. Tissue contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., gram negative organisms such as E. coli) are not released for transplant. Bone and soft tissue can be irradiated if non-pathogenic microorganisms are present. Skin grafts are recovered and processed aseptically, and the cultures must confirm the absence of pathogenic microorganisms. The tissue technologist documents each of the recovery and processing steps, and quality assurance personnel monitor and maintain these records.

Final evaluation
Prior to release of tissues for transplant, there is a final inspection of the donor chart for accuracy and completeness. The database information is cross-checked and reviewed against the original chart, and all the documents, including processing records, incident reports, and microbiological results. Any inconsistencies or discrepancies not previously documented are investigated and resolved. Once these reviews are complete, tissues are physically and electronically moved to the distribution inventory.