Tissue Donation: How It Works and How it Helps Others

Tissue donation helps restore lives in a lot of ways. Transplanted tissue restores sight and movement, repair body injuries and defects, as well as save a life. Even a single tissue donor can improve the lives of several others.

If you want to donate tissue in Chicago, you will have to register yourself as an organ donor since such designation also applies to eyes and tissues. If you don’t register, your family member may make the decision to donate your tissue on your behalf.

What Tissue can be Donated?

Tissues that can be donated to heal and save lives include the following:

  • Bones or tendons. These tissues can be used to replace or reconstruct tissue and joints destroyed by tumors, infection, or trauma. They can help a patient avoid amputation.
  • Donated corneas help in restoring sight to people suffering from corneal blindness or eye trauma.
  • Heart valves. Donated heart valves can be used for replacing damaged ones, letting a person’s heart function properly. If used in young patients, the valves can grow the recipient and minimize the need for repeated surgeries.
  • Donated skin is used to reduce infection, fluid loss, scarring, and pain in burn patients. Also, it can be used for cleft palate and reconstruction procedures like post-mastectomy.
  • Arteries and veins. Donated veins are used for patients who have coronary defects. They can help them return to a normal life. Also, donated veins help diabetics and people with other conditions that cause a reduction in blood flow.

How the Donation Process Works

Great care is taken in tissue recovery to ensure the presentation of the body for funeral purposes. Here’s how the tissue donation process works:

If you die, your family members will be notified by the hospital staff. Federal regulations mandate the hospital to notify an organ procurement organization of all deaths occurring in their facility. Then, you will be evaluated to determine your qualification as a possible tissue donor based on criteria like age, medical history, and cause of death.

Organ procurement organizations will check the organ and tissue donor registry of your state determine if you are a registered donor. If you are, the organization will inform your family about your decision to donate your organs or tissue to people who truly need them. If you are a potential donor but not registered, the organization will contact your family and presents the option to donate. If your family agrees to the donation, they should fill out an authorization form that itemizes every tissue they wish to donate.

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