The gift of tissue and cornea donation touches the lives of more than one million people in the United States each year. One tissue donor can save and heal more than 75 people, from restoring mobility, to healing burn victims, to replacing damaged heart valves. The gift of cornea donation can improve or restore sight for individuals who have suffered ocular trauma or disease.
Tissue and cornea recovery may take place at the hospital, the medical examiner’s office, at DNA’s surgical suites or a funeral home (for cornea donation only). Recovery must take place within 24 hours after a patient has died, so timely referral and coordination between hospitals and DNA is critical to providing the lifesaving and life-healing gifts of tissue and cornea donation. If a patient has the potential for donation, it is also important to contact DNA prior to releasing the potential donor to the funeral home so that we can contact the family and coordinate donation if it is the patient’s or family’s decision.
Tissue and cornea recovery is performed by highly trained, skilled recovery technicians. The recovery process is respectful, including full restoration, which is part of DNA’s commitment to honoring donors and their gifts with care.