How Deceased Organ Donation Works
Organ donation becomes possible when a person is pronounced brain dead and the rest of their body is kept alive on life support. Once a person is pronounced brain dead, hospitals are required to contact their local organ recovery organization to determine whether donation is possible.
What Can Be Donated
The organs that can be donated include: heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, intestines. The tissue that can be donated includes: cornea, skin, heart valve, tendons, bones, veins, cartilage. The numbers after each organ or tissue represent how many hours each respective organ can survive between the donor and recipient.
Once a person is pronounced brain dead, the hospital determines if the person is an organ donor.
If the deceased is an organ donor, the hospital contacts the organ recovery organization to determine if this person is eligible.
The organ recovery organization meets with the family of the donor to confirm donation and discuss the donor's medical history to ensure safety for the recipient.
The organ recovery organization searches for a transplant recipient, surgically removes the organ, and then transports the organ to location of the recipient.