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Physical examination of potential tissue donors: results of a risk management procedure to identify the critical elements of the physical examination


To identify critical elements of physical examination (PE) of potential tissue donors that could help to improve the safety of tissue transplantation. Physical signs were identified that can indicate the presence of a contraindication mentioned in EU Directive 2006/17/EC and that can theoretically be detected at PE. A risk assessment was designed, according to the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis model. Signs were scored on several aspects, taking into account various control measures, either required in the EU Directive or additional non-required measures. 106 signs associated with general and tissue-specific contraindications were identified. Signs of advanced infection with HIV, hepatitis B/C and syphilis (n = 13, 12.3%) can be omitted, since these contraindications will be detected by the required serological testing. With the required control measures, risk priorities are unacceptably “high” for 17.3% of the signs. For 64.5% of the signs, additional control measures are possible, which result in acceptable risk priorities for all signs. This risk management procedure identified the minimal necessary content of PE in potential tissue donors. Furthermore, risks associated with tissue donation were elucidated and possible risk control measures were identified as well as their impact on the safety of tissue transplantation.

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Correspondence to Marja J. van Wijk.

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van Wijk, M.J., van Geyt, C., Laven, A.B.H. et al. Physical examination of potential tissue donors: results of a risk management procedure to identify the critical elements of the physical examination. Cell Tissue Bank 13, 547–563 (2012).

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  • Risk management
  • Tissue transplantation
  • Safety
  • Physical examination
  • Physical signs
  • FMEA model