Brain Recovery Specialists

The HBTRC is fortunate to collaborate with a network of highly-skilled independent specialists trained to carry out removal of brain and other tissues. In recent years, this network has been further expanded through collaborations between the NIH/NeuroBioBank sites, enhancing our ability to collect specimens across the US in an efficient and timely manner. Recovery specialists are often willing to travel several hours to reach a donor. They are familiar with the HBTRC protocols for brain removal and are equipped in advance with HBTRC brain removal kits.

If you are interested in joining this network of specialists and assisting the HBTRC with specimen recovery, please contact us during office hours at 1-800-BRAINBANK.

Important information for current and prospective recovery specialists:

Ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of brain donors and their families is critical. For this reason, we provide recovery specialists with secure means of communication with the HBTRC, as well as case codes to refer to brain donors. Informed consent is obtained remotely by the HBTRC from the next-of-kin/ legal representative. A copy is securely forwarded to the recovery specialist prior to the procedure. We rely on specialists’ professional commitment to protect confidentiality in order to secure and protect these forms.

Recovery specialists must be trained to carry out whole brain removal with no damage to the specimens using minimally invasive procedures. It is essential that the procedure does not alter a donor’s appearance in a way that would be incompatible with an open casket funeral.

COVID-19 pandemic-related information.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HBTRC has established additional safety requirements regarding brain recovery procedures. Below are measures in place for brain recovery from COVID-19 negative donors and COVID-19 positive donors.

Recovery specialist will need to have access to the following PPE:

  1. N95 respirator or PAPRs
  2. Double surgical gloves interposed with layer of cut-proof synthetic mesh gloves
  3. Fluid resistant/impermeable gown
  4. Waterproof apron
  5. Goggles/face shield
  6. Surgical scrubs/shoe covers

Facilities for brain recovery from COVID-19 positive donors should include the following features:

  1. Airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) with negative pressure air flow (minimum of 6 air changes per hour (ACH) or 12 ACH for renovated or new structures with air exhausted directly outside)
  2. Vacuum manifold or equivalent intervention for oscillating saws

McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School Affiliate

Basic Neuroscience at McLean Hospital

Harvard Medical School Affiliate