Give and let live

Facts about donation


Facts about tissue

The tissue in your body

Body tissue includes skin, bone, heart valves, corneas, tendon and cartilage.

What is donated tissue used for?

Parts of the body such as skin, bone and heart valves are donated to improve or save someone's life.

Bone, tendons and cartilage are used for reconstruction after an injury or during joint replacement surgery. A bone transplant given to patients suffering from bone cancer can mean they don't need to have their limb amputated.

Cornea transplants help people suffering from severe eye disease or injury.

Heart valves can be used to save the lives, of people born with deformed hearts or suffering from diseased or damaged valves.

Skin grafts are used as dressings to treat people with severe burns.

When can I donate tissue?

Bone can be donated during life (as part of a hip replacement), but most tissues are donated after death by people who have decided that they would like to give other people the chance to live on.

Most tissue needs to be donated within 24 hours of death. Most tissue can be processed to make it safe for transplant, and placed into storage until it is required at a later date.

How do I become a tissue donor?

You need to register on the NHS Organ Donor Register to become a tissue donor. And remember to discuss your wishes with your family.

If someone is having a hip replacement in a hospital that runs a live bone donation programme, they could donate bone after their operation.

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