Tissue donation means giving your skin, bone or tendons to enhance the lives of others.
Donating tissue means we are able to repair and rebuild the bodies and lives of severely injured people. You can also donate your corneas. Some tissue parts can only be donated after death. Others can be donated from living donors, sometimes during routine surgery.
You can choose to donate tissue, such as skin, bone, tendons, eyes, heart valves and arteries after your death. Or, you can donate some tissue when you’re alive, for example bone that is removed during a hip replacement.
Mothers who have had their babies safely delivered by elective caesarean section can donate amniotic membrane.
Most people choose to donate everything when they join the Organ Donor Register. However, you can choose which organs to donate and whether you want to include your tissue and corneas. Why not register as an organ and tissue donor today? The register is a permanent record of your wish to be a donor and can be updated at any time.
Almost anyone can be a tissue donor. There are very few eligibility restrictions and no age restrictions for bone, skin or eye donation.
To become a tissue donor after your death, please join the organ donor register and most importantly, let your friends and family know that if asked, you would like them to agree to you becoming a donor.
If you are interested in becoming a living tissue donor, we currently work with a limited number of hospitals on providing opportunities to donate bone and amniotic membrane (part of the placenta). Find out more about living tissue donation and whether your planned hip surgery or elective caesarean section could become an opportunity to donate.
Tell your friends and family that you want to be a tissue donor – it is very important that they understand and support your organ and tissue donation decision because your family’s support is needed for donation to go ahead. Dealing with the death of a loved one is a difficult time to make an important decision quickly.
Sign up to the Organ Donor Register online. The NHS Organ Donor Register is a secure database that records people’s decision around whether or not they want to be an organ and tissue donor when they die.
Call us on 0300 123 23 23.