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Burns. 2001 May;27(3):267-71.

Cadaveric allograft discards as a result of positive skin cultures.

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  • 1The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77550, USA.



The availability of cadaveric allograft is often limited by potentially pathogenic microbial organisms. Little data exists on cadaveric allograft discard rates related to positive microbiology. The purpose of this retrospective review was to determine the cadaveric allograft discard rates related positive microbiology and the subsequent breakdown of those organisms involved.


From January 1995 to June 1997, 1112 donors were screened and procured after informed consent had been obtained. The procedures used were in accordance with American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) standards and guidelines. The number of discards due to positive skin cultures was reviewed and analyzed for type of microbial organism.


Fifty-four donors (4.9%) were discarded due to positive skin cultures. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis, (MRSE), was the most predominant organism (22.2%), followed by gram negative rods as a group (18.5%), with Aspergillus species being the least predominant isolate.


Despite the strict adherence to AATB protocol, microbial contamination of cadaveric allograft skin does not reach zero. It is not surprising that S. epidermidis was the predominant isolate, since skin is one of its common habitats. Continued vigilance in microbial testing remains paramount to ensure the quality of the allograft.

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