Is there a difference between tissue and organ donation?

Organ donation must occur when mechanical support can continue the viability of the organs for a short period of time after brain death. Therefore, the death must occur in a hospital where the support mechanisms are in place. The transplant of organs (heart, liver, etc.) must occur within a few hours and be of the correct blood type.
Tissue donation is done after cardiac death. Consequently, there are many more potential tissue donors than organ donors. Blood-typing is not required for tissue transplants. Also in most cases immunosuppressive therapy is not required for.

.:: Who donates bone and tissue for transplantation?

The majority of donors were otherwise healthy and relatively young people who died in accidents or from sudden illness such as heart attack or stroke. Every donor is thoroughly screened and tested before donation can take place. This screening includes comprehensive medical and social histories, including high-risk behaviors that automatically eliminate any possibility of donation. Individuals with any history of diseases such as cancer, AIDS or Hepatitis or exposure to toxic substances are immediately disqualified. Potential donors with histories of any condition that can affect the quality and long-term performance of the bone and/or tissue are also excluded, and all donations must be approved by I.T.B’s Medical Director, TPC Chief, and Director of Quality Assurance.

.:: How are the bone and tissue retrieved?

All tissue is retrieved from donors by Trained General Practitioners and specialty trained technicians in a sterile environment. I.T.B employs state-of-the-art recovery and processing techniques to maintain the aseptic condition of every tissue.

.:: What happens after the donation?

After recovery, every tissue is subjected to a wide range of tests before it can be released to surgeons. Processing is performed in tightly controlled, aseptic environments called clean rooms. Tissue processing is performed in our clean room facilities located in Imam Khomeini Hospital. The activity protocol and its special accessories are used in our clean room to make a class 10000 or better operating room and class 100 for tissue processing. A tissue technologist documents each of the production steps. The state-of-the-art technology and highly trained staff enable us to provide the widest range of tissue grafts available.

.:: Just how safe are allograft? What about AIDS?

The only confirmed transmissions of AIDS through transplant occurred in the mid-1980s, before current testing procedures were available. The allograft tissue which transmitted the virus was unprocessed.
Statistical studies today estimate the risk of transmitting HIV through transplantation to be less than 1 in 1.67 million. That is about five times less than the chance of HIV transmission through blood transfusion. Compared to many everyday activities, the risk is virtually nonexistent. The serologic screening tests which performed on donor’s blood are: HIV1/2 Ab, HTLV1Ab, HBcAb, HBsAg, HCVAb and RPR.

Other complementary tests would be done if needed.

.:: Are tissue transplants subject to rejection as in the case of organ transplants?

No. Anti-rejection drugs are not required for the transplant recipient.

.:: Does the donor’s family have to pay for the donation?

No. Donations are a gift of the donor or donor’s family.

.:: If you're a non-profit corporation, what do you do with the money made from the tissue ?

Like organ donors, each tissue donor has significant costs associated with it, including reimbursement to the recovery team for their expenses (recovery team salaries, operating room time and supplies, transportation, etc.), testing the tissue to insure it is safe, review of the donor records, processing the tissue and storage of prepared tissues.I.T.B also conducts and sponsors a broad variety of research projects to insure that we are able to make the best possible use of donated tissues.

Myths about Tissue & Organ Donation

Myth: If emergency room doctors know you’re an organ donor or having a Donor Card, they won’t work as hard to save you.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered if you die (Brain Death) and after your family has been consulted.

Myth: When you’re waiting for a transplant, your financial status or celebrity status is as important as your medical status.

Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information.

Myth: Having a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.

Fact: While a signed donor card and a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation are legal documents, organ and tissue donation is always discussed with family members prior to the donation. To ensure that your family understands your wishes, it is important that you share your decision to donate LIFE.

Myth: I am 60 years old. I am too old to be a donor.

Fact: People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.

Fact: There is no cost to the donor's family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family