Stillbirths and foetuses, post mortems and disposal

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Any live born baby that dies should be referred to a paediatric pathologist at St Mary’s Hospital for a post mortem.

For post mortems on stillbirths and non-viable foetuses, please contact the bereavement midwife on the maternity unit at Wythenshawe hospital on ext 2930 or 2963.

Wythenshawe Hospital patients

For first trimester miscarriages, any pregnancy remains should be sent to the histology department accompanied by a Consent Form 9 “Consent for Histopathological Examination and Disposal of Tissue Following Early Pregnancy Loss Up To 12 Weeks 6 Days” signed by the mother and indicating her wishes for the remains from her miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy. Note Consent Form 9 solicits consent to histological examination of the non-fetal tissues only. The fetus will not be dissected or examined microscopically but may be commented as to the presence of it within the specimen.

The specimen cannot be examined without appropriate consent; lack of an accompanying appropriately completed or legible consent form will result in delay to reporting which may have adverse effects on the patient’s management. In such cases, staff in histopathology will contact the clinicians, whom this patient is under, requesting a consent form to be sent as soon as possible before the specimen can be examined. If no consent is received within seven calendar days, an incident report will be raised in Ulysses.

If you have any questions, please speak to the laboratory or to the specialist midwife on maternity.

Tameside patients

For first trimester miscarriages, from patients’ at Tameside, any pregnancy remains should be sent to the histology department accompanied by a Dukinfield cremation form. This is completed and signed by the mother indicating her understanding of the specimen being sent for cremation following histological examination.

Only non-fetal tissue is examined; any fetus will not be dissected or examined microscopically, but may be commented as to the presence of it within the specimen. Should a cremation form be received without parental signature, the form and specimen pot will be returned to the mortuary at Tameside.

Staff at Tameside mortuary will then liaise with clinicians to ensure a cremation form is completed. If no cremation form is received, a report may still be issued, however, staff from Wythenshawe Site histology will contact clinicians at Tameside requesting a form to be sent. If this is received prior to disposal, the form can be sent to Wythenshawe Site and matched with the specimen pot. If not received prior to disposal, the specimen is returned to the Mortuary at Tameside, where staff will continue to liaise with clinicians for completion of the cremation form.

 

(Last reviewed February 2020)