Patients & Visitors

Care of the Dying

Organ & Tissue Donation

On this page:

About Organ & Tissue Donation Organ Donation Tissue Donation Donor Card or Registration After Donation

About Organ & Tissue Donation in General

Organ and tissue transplantation saves and enhances people's lives.

It is often the best or even the only treatment for many patients suffering from disease or failure of a major organ. At present three people a day are dying in the UK due to the shortage of organs for transplant.

Many patients each year benefit from a transplant, but this depends entirely on the generosity of patients and their families who are willing to become organ and tissue donors after their death.

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Organ Donation

Organ donation after death can only occur in an Intensive Care Unit or Emergency department as the patient has to have been on a breathing machine (life support machine).

What can be donated?

Organs that can be donated include:

  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Bowel

The specialist nurses in organ donation provide information, answer questions and discuss the wishes of the patient with the family. The family can then make an informed decision about organ donation.

For information, advice or for referrals:

For information, advice or for referrals the Specialist Nurses - Organ Donation can be contacted at any time on: 07659591642

Alternatively contact South West Donation Team on:
0300 1231 108
(Monday-Friday: 9-5)

Resident Specialist Nurse - Organ Donation at the RUH is Amanda Herman on:
01225 82 6234

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Tissue Donation

Unlike organ donation almost all patients that die in hospital can be considered for tissue donation. However, no tissue will be removed without the consent of the next of kin.

If you would like to donate the tissue of your relative, please discuss it with a member of staff who will contact the Tissue Donor Coordinator.

Tissue donation will never be allowed to affect family viewing, last offices or funeral arrangements.

Tissues that can be donated include:

  • Eyes
  • Heart for heart valves

The tissue donor coordinators provide information, answer questions and discuss the wishes of the deceased with the family. The family can then make an informed decision about donation.

For information, advice or for donor referrals the Tissue Donor Coordinator can be contacted at any time on: 07699 704 933

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Donor Card or Registration

A Donor Card or registration on the Organ Donation Register represents intent to donate and is legally considered consent; however, the wishes of the next of kin would be respected.

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After Donation

The family may wish to view their loved one after donation and this is always accommodated. Donation does not delay any funeral arrangements.

The next of kin has the full support of the Specialist nurse in organ donation/ Tissue Donor Co-ordinator for as long as is necessary after the donation. They can be informed of the recipients' progress and letters may be exchanged between families - confidentially.

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Make your Choice

You can register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23.