Health Blog


Gift a Life by Donating Your Organs and Tissues

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It is true, that we will at some point of time in our lives lose our loved ones. When the situation actually arrives, we feel tormented and are left helpless thinking of the pain we would go through in the upcoming days. Thinking of this kind of loss everyone has to go through, nowadays many families have started switching to the culture of donating organs to the ones who are in real need of the same. Donating organs is a warm gesture that is filled with great generosity. You can save more than thousands of lives with this priceless gesture. In the US, it is very much illegal to sell or buy any organs or tissues. Today, many non-profit organizations have associated themselves with such noble causes.

What they do

Such organizations that deal with organ and tissue donation take the responsibility of:

  • Evaluating the prospective donors
  • Organizing a kind of discussion with their family members
  • Coordinating the process of donation
  • Extending the required support to the families of the donors
  • Educating the people in and around the area about the importance of organ donation and its process
  • Educating the healthcare professionals regarding their role in this process
  • Assisting the hospitals in developing the policies to facilitate this process

How it works

When a person dies, his or her organs and tissues are recovered and transplantations are done. The process may sound very simple but there are a number of steps involved in it like:

  • Evaluation – The hospitals should keep notifying the organizations involved in this process whenever a patient expires or is about to expire so that the organizations can determine if he or she is eligible to be a potential donor.
  • Authorization – Once the patient is found eligible the representatives of these organizations visit the hospital to meet the patient care team.
  • Approach the family – Then they meet the donor’s family members to discuss the procedure. The representatives provide the required support to the donor’s family.
  • Evaluation – After the completion of the authorization process, from the patient’s medical and social history it is determined which organs and tissues can be transplanted. In the meantime, the organ recovery coordinator takes care of the body through artificial means and conducts physical examinations to determine which organs and tissues are suitable for transplant and send information to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) a body that maintains a list of transplants waiting nationwide for tracking any potential recipient.
  • Matching recipients – UNOS then sends a list of the possible matches to the allocation coordinator of the organization. The transplant team accordingly decides whether to accept the organ or not. If declined, the next recipient surgeon is contacted and this process continues until all the organs are successfully placed.
  • The recovery process – Once all the organs are placed, the organ recovery coordinator informs about the arrival of the organs and tissues to the transplant surgery team. In case of tissues, the recovery can be done only after 24 hours of declaration of death. But in case of organs they must be transplanted within few hours without delay.

 Organs and tissues that can be donated

When we talk about organ and tissue donation, some of the major organs which can be donated for transplantation are the lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, small intestine and pancreas. Tissues suitable for donation are saphenous, corneas, femoral veins, bones, and skin and heart valves. Most people need kidneys and corneas for transplantation.