Contribution by Departments of Forensic Medicine to Tissue Donation for Transplant Purposes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: A department of forensic medicine (DFM) can be a valuable source for tissue donation, but logistics can prove difficult to overcome as it pertains to obtaining tissues for donation. This article describes the potential of tissues that can be procured for transplantation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sweden has 9.7 million inhabitants, with an annual mortality rate of 90 000 and 5500 medicolegal autopsies per year. Cooperation between tissue banking and 2 DFMs began in the mid-1980s. Recently, cooperation has expanded to include all six DFMs. All tissue establishments (TEs) were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning their cooperation with DFMs from 2011 through 2013.

RESULTS: A total of 298 actual donors were identified; 1090 tissues were procured including cardiovascular tissue, cornea, sclera, ear bones, and skin for transplantation. Of the tissues distributed, 553 were for transplantation and 72 for other medical purposes. Twenty-three percent of the tissues were discarded. Reasons for tissue rejection included deficient tissue quality (65%), positive serology tests (9%), positive bacteriology tests after decontamination procedures (7%), technical errors (<1%), and other reasons (18%).

CONCLUSION: Nineteen percent of all tissues distributed for transplantation came from donors in DFMs. The cooperation between DFMs and TEs was described as well functioning and excellent. Education and national courses in tissue procurement for employees in DFMs are contributing factors to such positive interactions. The support from the National Board of Forensic Medicine is an important factor for sustainable progress.


  • Torsten Malm
  • Åsa Sandgren Åkerman
  • Jesper Greby
  • Björn Odö
  • Bengt-Åke Henriksson
External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Laboratory and Measurements Technologies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-380
Number of pages3
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes