Sometimes during examination and testing, organs are found to be unsuitable for transplantation. There can be many reasons for this.
After the specialist nurse has gathered detailed information about your loved one, an assessment is made.
If you would like more specific information in relation to your loved one's donation, please get in touch with the Donor Family Care Service and we will contact the specialist nurse who will then be able to speak with you.
Research allows doctors and scientists to look at how different parts of the body work and most importantly, learning from research may result in new medicines or practices that save lives and help more people recover from illness and disease.
Studying human organs and tissues is essential to gain a better understanding of the structure, function and disorders of the human body and for developing new treatments for diseases.
By supporting research programmes, this vital work has the potential to benefit many patients, both now and in the future.
Samples donated may include an organ, blood or tissue and are used to support ethically approved studies.
Most samples are donated to support transplant-related research programmes whilst other samples may be made available to approved researchers and projects, such as medical or healthcare training and education, clinical audit, performance assessment or quality assurance.
Find out more about organ donation and tissue donation for research
If you would like more specific information in relation to your loved one's donation for research, please get in touch with the Donor Family Care Service and we will contact the specialist nurse and/or members of the research team, who will then be able to speak with you. (add link to contact us).
Can I find out how the recipients are doing?
Yes. If you would like an update on the recipients who benefitted following your loved one’s donation, please contact the Donor Family Care Service team.
It can take six to eight weeks for this information to be gathered as the team contact each recipient hospital. As soon as we have the information, we will write to you with an update.
How much information can you tell me about the recipients?
We always ensure confidentiality of both your loved one and the recipients.
Therefore, we only share a small amount of information about the recipients with you.
This includes their sex, age in decades, the organ they received and how they have recovered.
Often a specialist nurse will call you soon after your loved one’s donation to provide you with a brief update.
Sometimes the specialist nurse will offer you another phone call 4-6 weeks after your loved one’s donation. This is to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have, offer guidance and make you aware of any support available to you.
If you were not offered a phone call but would like to speak to the specialist nurse, please contact the Donor Family Care Service and we will arrange this for you.
People who become organ donors after their death has been confirmed when their heart has stopped will usually have been treated in the emergency department, or for some time on an intensive care unit, but their injuries will be such that death is inevitable.
Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, such as ventilation and/or medication to maintain blood pressure will have taken place in either the theatre department or the intensive care unit.
Family members may have been present, and a specialist nurse will have supported you. The doctors and nursing staff will have continued to provide comfort, such as medication, and care to your loved one.
Your loved one will have been quickly moved to the theatre once their heart had stopped, and their death had been confirmed by a doctor.
The organ donation operation will have involved a specialist team who would have ensured that your loved one was treated with the greatest care and respect during the removal of organs and tissue for donation.
The operation will have taken place in a normal operating theatre under sterile conditions, and will have been carried out by specialist surgeons. The operation can vary in length depending on the organs being donated. Afterwards the surgical incision will have been carefully closed and covered by a dressing in the normal way.
Only the organs and tissue you agreed to will have been donated.
After donation, if agreed, the Donor Family Care Service will write to you with some information about the outcome of the transplants that have taken place.
Tissue donation can dramatically improve the lives of many people.
The operation to retrieve tissues may have taken place at the hospital or within a specialist donation facility, up to 48 hours after the organ donation operation.
The letter provided by the Donor Family Care Service will include information about any tissues donated.