Tissue Donation

One tissue donor can restore health and heal the lives of more than 75 people.

Registration takes less than a minute.

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Quick Facts

  • Donated tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients, and even save lives.
  • Each year, approximately 39,000 tissue donors provide lifesaving and healing tissue for transplant.
  • Approximately 1.75 million tissue transplants are performed each year.
  • One tissue donor can restore health and heal the lives of more than 75 people.
  • Most people can be potential tissue donors at the time of death.

Donated human tissue is used in many surgical applications, saving peoples’ lives and limbs daily. Donated tissue can:

  • Save patients facing life-threatening burns
  • Allow athletes with torn ligaments or tendons to heal and regain strength
  • Restore hope and mobility to military men and women whose bones or joints have been injured in combat
  • Repair musculoskeletal structures, teeth, skin, and spinal components in many patients

What Tissue Can be Donated

  • Corneas – Restore sight
  • Tendons – Rebuild joints
  • Valves – Repair cardiac defects
  • Veins – Re-establish circulation
  • Skin – Heals burn patients
  • Bones – Prevent the need for amputation

The Process

The local tissue recovery organization receives a referral from a hospital, medical examiner or funeral home notifying them that an individual has died. An initial determination of donor eligibility is made based on basic criteria and available information (i.e., age, cause of death, immediate evidence of infection, etc.).

If it is determined that the deceased individual is a candidate for donation, the state donor registry and the national Donate Life Registry are searched and one or more persons who know the potential donor (i.e. historians) are contacted for a medical and social history. If the potential donor is not found on the registry, his or her legally authorized representative (usually a spouse, relative or close friend) is offered the opportunity to authorize the donation.

Tissue donation must be initiated within 24 hours of death.

Unlike organs, tissue can be processed and stored for an extended period of time for use in burn cases, ligament repair, bone replacement, etc.

References: AATB.org, AllograftPossibilities.org, MTF.org

Meet Jeremy, Tissue Recipient

 “The tissue I received gave me a second chance at life,” said Jeremy, who got married in May of 2016, and lives an active and purposeful lifestyle today.

Video Sponsored by Exsurco Medical

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Over half of the people you will see today are registered donors – are you?

Registration takes less than a minute.

Still have questions?

Be socially responsible

95% of Americans are in favor of being a donor but only 56% are registered.
Help bridge the gap by sharing.