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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


DE VOS, A; MARITZ, E  and  LE ROUX, TLB. Evaluating donor tissue for bacterial contamination at the South African National Tissue Bank. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2008, vol.7, n.4, pp.41-46. ISSN 2309-8309.

The internationally accepted method of acquiring allograft bone is to retrieve it in a sterile environment. In South Africa, we are limited by resources and funds, making it impossible to adhere to these standards of retrieval. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the safety of the surgically clean retrieval of allograft bone outside of a theatre set-up. The study population consisted of all the accepted donors from the beginning of 2003 to September 2008. The donors included in the study (n=749) were tested for microbial growths at various stages of retrieval and processing. An internal audit was done on the results and the safety of the processes was evaluated. The amount of bacterial contamination of the various samples was used to evaluate the safety of the process. We concluded that by following a strict protocol for processing and by using mandatory gamma irradiation our allograft is bacteria-free and extremely safe, making our method comparable with international standards.

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