Cadaver donor discards secondary to serology

J. R. Barnett, R. L. McCauley, S. Schutzler, K. Sheridan, J. P. Heggers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The use of cadaveric skin has made a major impact in the survival of patients experiencing major thermal injury. However, the availability of cadaveric skin is often limited by potentially pathogenic organisms. Very little data exists as to why cadaveric skin from donors who have been previously screened was discarded. From March 1994 to March 1996, 813 donors were referred to our tissue bank. All donors were reviewed for the cause of death, history and physical, and social history. One hundred fifty-three donors screened were discarded. Sixty-one donors of this group were discarded because of positive serologies. The following are the percentages of the specific positive serologies: hepatitis B core antibody, 52.3%; hepatitis B surface antigen, 18.1%; hepatitis C virus antibody, 14.3%; human immunodeficiency virus antibody, 4.9%; human T lymphocyte virus antibody, 4.9% and syphilis, 5.5%. Retrospectively, all donor screening questionnaires were reviewed for possible indicators in relation to positive serologic testing. Current screening methods, although excellent in social screening, still fail to identify a significant number of donors who may have positive serologies because of hepatitis, human immunodeficiency virus, human T lymphocyte virus, or syphilis. As the field of tissue banking continues to evolve, the focus will need to be directed toward better screening mechanisms in order to decrease our current discard rates after donors have been approved through the screening process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-127
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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