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It should be noted that crematoria will not accept unidentifiable fetal remains as there is no record of the consent of the woman. For these remains, sensitive incineration is the only disposal option.
Yes. Where the hospital’s practice is to bury/cremate remains together, the woman should be informed of this when she chooses one of these options. It should be noted that not all Cremation Authorities will agree to carry out communal or shared cremations.
No, placentae can be disposed of as clinical waste in line with the hospital’s usual procedure.
Women may miscarry naturally or pass the pregnancy by medical induction outside of a clinical facility. The woman may choose to dispose of the pregnancy remains herself, and in such circumstances advice on how to manage this appropriately should be available from service providers such as...
There is no legal bar to women taking their pregnancy remains home with them for disposal, although there are certain requirements that need to be met. The women should be advised to think carefully about what she will do with the remains and consider any associated restrictions which might...
The guidance sets out that the woman’s medical notes should record whether information was provided and what the woman’s decision was, and that a record should be kept of the date and location of the disposal. This is to ensure an audit trail for the disposed of remains, should the woman make...
Tissue samples from early pregnancy loss may be sent to Histopathology for examination to identify any unusual pathology and aid diagnosis. These can be considered part of the woman’s diagnostic record and do not need to be disposed of in line with this guidance.
Service providers that are involved with the disposal of pregnancy remains should self-assess and monitor their compliance with this guidance through regular audit of relevant policies, procedures and women’s medical records.
Designated Individuals should contribute to the development of policies and procedures on the disposal of pregnancy remains, where they are handled on HTA licensed premises.
Although the guidance refers to pregnancy remains rather than fetal tissue, hospitals may make a distinction when disposing of remains in circumstances where the woman prefers to leave the decision to them. For example, they may consider the gestation of the pregnancy.