Did you know that many more people are eligible tissue donors than organ donors? According to the National Coalition on Donation, nearly 900,000 tissue transplants are performed in the United States each year. It is estimated that one in 20 Americans will need some type of tissue transplant. As many as 80 recipients can benefit from one single tissue donor. Tissue grafts are becoming widely used by doctors in the fields of orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, plastic surgery, dentistry and podiatry, repairing severe fractures and degenerative conditions to helping increase the chances of survival for burn victims.
UTHSC Allograft Resources believes that tissue donation is a gift of life - a way to help others live free from pain, allowing them to run and play, to hold their children and grandchildren, to regain independence and return to work, to look up to the stars and reach for their dreams.
Human tissue transplantation has become a modern miracle to thousands of Americans. The donation of skin helps mend a burn victim, bone grafts can renew a cancer patient's lost bone, heart valves can replace a failing heart valve, ligaments and tendons will repair injured knees and ankles.
The gift of life can be given at any age and most religions support donation as a compassionate expression of generosity and love.
UTHSC Allograft Resources takes great care in the recovery of the donated tissue to ensure acceptable presentation of the body for funeral purposes. Generally, donation will not delay funeral arrangements, and tissue donation does not interfere with an open-casket funeral for the donor.
What is just as important as making the decision to donate? UTHSC Allograft Resources encourage you to tell your family of your decision to donate.
Why? A signed donor card or drivers license is considered a legal document, but it is common practice of UTHSC Allograft Resources for the legal next of kin to give consent before tissue is recovered. Just remember that talking about donation does not mean talking about death. It is talking about the opportunity to help others and to make sure that your family understands and support your wishes.
Make a life decision
- Indicate on your driver's license and complete a donor card that you wish to be a donor and make sure to designate your donation intentions, such as specification of tissue and if donation can be used for transplantation, research, and/or education.
- Discuss your wishes with your family