Eligibility

There is no age limit on becoming an organ and/or tissue donor. But there are a few medical conditions that may prevent you from donating organs. If you are legally competent, you can join the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).

Joining the register provides legal consent for you to donate your organs and/or tissue after you die.  

Children joining the ODR

Children can join the ODR but their parents or guardians:

  • must give consent after they die, or
  • until they reach 16 or 18 years old depending on where they die in the UK.

Age related restrictions

Anyone can join the ODR. Healthcare professionals decide which organs and tissue are suitable for donation. But, you must be no more than…..

  • 80 years old for cornea donation
  • 60 years old for heart valves and tendons donations
  • no age limit on bone and skin donations

But, you can still donate other organs.

Race or skin colour

People from the same ethnic group are more likely to be a close match. But we have carried out successful transplants with people from different ethnic groups.

Screening

We will test your blood for transmissible diseases and viruses including:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis

Existing medical conditions

You can still be a donor if you have a medical condition. Only a healthcare professional can decide whether your organs or tissue are suitable for transplant based on your medical history. 

If you are HIV positive you may be able to donate to someone who already has HIV.

Deceased donors with some cancers may be safely used. However...

You cannot be a donor if you have:

Turned down to donate blood?

You can still donate your organ or tissue even if you have been turned down for blood donation

A healthcare professional will decide whether your organs or tissue can be transplanted based on your medical history

You may not be able to donate blood, if you:

  • have had a blood transfusion, or
  • have hepatitis, or
  • are taking cold or other medicines.

Further information