How Does Organ Donation Work?

Many people wonder… how does organ donation work?

You may be curious what the process is for someone to receive an organ transplant from a deceased donor. We’re here to explain to you step by step: how does organ donation work?question mark: how does organ donation work

In order for deceased organ donation to be possible, a potential donor must have a life-ending injury. This requires ventilated support to keep their heart and lungs functioning artificially.

Here at Donor Alliance, we have Family Support Coordinators who are there to speak to the family about organ and tissue donation potential. Family Support Coordinators will be involved whether the person is a registered donor or not. The next of kin may decide on behalf of their family member whether or not they would like to move forward with donation.

Certified medical professionals will evaluate the donor through many tests to determine the possibility for organ and tissue donation.

Once information is gathered surrounding the patient, whether or not they can be a donor, and matching information, it will be put in an online database which matches the donor with recipients based on many different things. Matching is based on:

  • Blood type
  • Need for transplant
  • Location
  • Tissue type

Once someone has been matched with a donor, lots of coordination occurs with recipients, hospital staff, surgeons, the donor’s family, and the recipient’s family. Following this, recovery surgery will occur. Often around the same time, recipients will begin prepping for their surgery, frequently under anesthesia. This is because the time between recovery and transplant cannot be very long.

Once organ recovery is completed in a patient, tissue and eye recovery will occur if the person is also registered to do so and qualifies. After this, a patient will be transported to a funeral home.

During the whole process, Donor Alliance takes great care of the donor and donor family members. We know this is one of the hardest days of their lives and ensure we are giving them thought and care first and foremost.

You can register to be a donor at your local driver license office, or here: Register as a Donor