When a hospital patient dies and the expired patient meets tissue-donor criteria, the family may be asked if it is interested in tissue donation. 

 If there is interest in donation, the following steps may occur:

  • Verbal or written consent is obtained from the next of kin.
  • A full medical history is acquired at the time of consent.
  • Blood is drawn to test for any communicable diseases.
  • A surgical team recovers consented tissues, including bone, soft tissue, heart valves, and veins.
  • All donor patients are prepped, scrubbed and draped just as they would be for any surgical procedure.
  • All instruments and solutions used for the recovery are sterile.
  • Surgical technicians specifically trained to remove tissue, scrub, glove and gown into operating room attire.
  • Tissues are recovered one at a time.
  • Each tissue is cultured as it is recovered then immediately packaged into 3 layers of sterile waterproof bags and packaged at cold temperatures to preserve the tissues.
  • At the completion of donation, recovered tissues are packed in a container and transported immediately to the tissue processor.