Fresh Tissue Laboratory
Information about the Fresh Tissue Laboratory
During the past five years, the capacity of the morgue was increased by 20%. The maximum number of cadavers is now 92. The embalming area was upgraded with new lighting and a suspended ceiling. To facilitate the moving of bodies, a new electric lift was purchased. The security of the Morgue, Fresh Tissue Lab, and Program offices was upgraded through the installation of a self-contained, departmentally controlled, electronic keypad access system. Ventilation of the Morgue and embalming areas was also improved. Finally, the ongoing computerization of Bequeathal record keeping continues to increase the overall efficiency of the program.
FRESH TISSUE DISSECTION LABORATORY
The Fresh Tissue Dissection Laboratory is believed to be the largest and best-equipped facility for fresh tissue dissection in the United States. Its design has been the basis for similar laboratories now under development at Duke, Emory, and Stanford Universities. The political difficulties reported by each of these institutions in implementing their plans has served to highlight the advantage of University of Louisville’s long-standing tradition of cooperation between the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology and the various clinical services.
The laboratory has been linked by fiber optic cable to four auditorium and classroom sites at Jewish and Norton Hospitals, with access through these hospitals to satellite up-links. The cable links have been used to provide demonstrations to large audiences, including the Jewish Hospital’s “A Focus on Anatomy” series of postgraduate courses.
The system for allocation of cadaver parts is unique to the laboratory. It enables as many as 25 users or groups to benefit from each cadaver, resulting in the fullest and most economical use of available tissue. The use of voice mail, computer graphics, and fax distribution have reduced the time required to process a user’s request for tissue, and communicate the response, form 2 days to 6 hours.
Activities based on the Fresh Tissue Laboratory
Of the 450 dissection studies carried out in a typical year, the great majority are done by surgeons in training for the purpose of relearning the anatomy of a particular area or approach. Typically, such studies are done by individuals or by small groups of two or three individuals having a shared interest.
Residents of the following U of L departments and divisions regularly use the Fresh Tissue Laboratory: General Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Hand Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, ENT, OB-GYN, and Ophthalmology. In addition, some of the surgical services run programs of scheduled dissection seminars for groups of 5-10 residents and students. For example, the Department of Surgery’s trauma team provides regular seminars in emergency access to major blood vessels for its residents and students and the Department of Orthopedics provides a systematic course of dissection and arthroscopy classes.
The laboratory provides the setting for research studies in surgical anatomy. Peer reviewed publications arising from the Fresh Tissue Laboratory have included studies on collateral blood supply of the sternum, fine details of hand innervation, the anatomy of donor sites for free tissue transfer, and the surgical anatomy of new procedures for neosphincter reconstruction. For additional information on the hand transplant efforts at Jewish Hospital go to http://www.handtransplant.com.
The extension of the laboratory is readily converted to provide a setting similar to an operating room. This enables surgeons and their assistants to assess new techniques and develop new types of surgical instrumentation in a safe environment. The ability to do this has led to important collaborations between U of L surgeons and surgical equipment companies, especially in the fields of heart, spine, and hand surgery. Additional information on the Artificial AbioCor Heart Transplant can be found at http://www.heartpioneers.com through the Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute.
The Video Atlas of Human Anatomy
The laboratory provided the setting for the development of a new teaching and learning tool for medical students, the Video Atlas of Human Anatomy. The Video Atlas will be a series of five inexpensive, high-quality videotapes showing the whole of human gross anatomy at the level of detail required by students. The Video Atlas uses a combination of fresh specimens, newly developed three-dimensional imaging techniques, and high production values to provide a new standard of realism. Five of the intended six Video Atlas tapes have been published and are in worldwide distribution. For more information go to http://louisville.edu/medschool/atlasofanatomy/home.html