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A retrospective hospital benefit and cost analysis of the management of human tissues for orthopaedic allografts


Objectives The transplantation of human tissues is a greatly expanding field of medicine with unquestionable benefits that raise questions about safety, quality and ethics. Since 1 October 2019, the Fondazione Banca dei Tessuti del Veneto (FBTV) stopped sending thawed and ready to be transplanted cadaveric human tissues to hospitals. A retrospective analysis of the period 2016–2019 found a significant number of unused tissues. For this reason, the hospital pharmacy has developed a new centralised service characterised by thawing and washing human tissues for orthopaedic allografts. This study aims to analyse the hospital cost and benefit derived from this new service.

Methods Aggregate data relating to tissue flows were obtained retrospectively for the period 2016–2022 through the hospital data warehouse. All tissues arriving from FBTV for each year were analysed, dividing them according to the outcome (if used or wasted). The percentage of wasted tissues as well as the economic loss due to wasted allografts were analysed per year and trimester.

Results We identified 2484 allografts requested for the period 2016–2022. In the last 3 years of the analysis, characterised by the new tissue management of the pharmacy department, we found a statistically significant reduction in wasted tissues (p<0.0001) from 16.33% (216/1323) with a cost to the hospital of 176 866€ during the period 2016–2019 to 6.72% (78/1161) with a cost to the hospital of 79 423€ during the period 2020–2022.

Conclusion This study shows how the centralised processing of human tissues in the hospital pharmacy makes the procedure safer and more efficient, demonstrating how the synergy between different hospital departments, high professional skills and ethics can lead to a clinical advantage for patients and a better economic impact for the hospital.

  • Ethics, pharmacy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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