Tissue Return

What we do

During a post mortem, the pathologist may test some tissue samples that can help tell them how the person died. These samples might include small pieces of organs like the brain or lungs, or fluids like blood. If these samples don’t get used up during testing, we can deliver them back to the tūpāpaku’s/deceased person’s loved ones. We can also return the tissues of living people who have a had a procedure to remove part or all of an organ, for example.

Who we look after

The samples are often sent for testing at different labs and at different times. The Coroner will ask us to return the tissue when a whānau/family requests it. We receive all the tissue from the labs to ensure all tissue or fluid samples are returned together, which helps to alleviate further stress and grief for the whānau/family.

The Tissue Return Process

A person or family notifies the Coroner and asks for tissue to be returned to them.

Once the Coroner has closed their inquiry, and approved the return, they then contact Communio and the labs, to ask them to return the tissue.

We contact the labs involved and have all the tissue sent to us.

Coronial services give us the address and contact details for the person or whānau/family who has requested the return.

We work with that whānau/family or person to coordinate when, where and how they’d like the tissue returned.

Some Questions You May Have

The Coroner releases tissue at the end of proceedings for tūpāpaku in their care. It may take months for tissue to be returned to Communio from various laboratories. When all the tissue has been returned, a specially trained staff member contacts the whānau and arranges for the tissue to be returned. Please email info@tissuereturn.co.nz for more information.

Or please get in touch for more information