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.