Imagine your child was born with a heart problem, and the only answer was a donated heart valve. Or you have a bad accident and urgently need a bone graft. You probably wouldn’t hesitate to make use of these medical marvels, but have you ever thought about the donors who make such operations possible?
They are people who have thought about what they would like to happen after their death, and decided that they would like to help other people in perhaps one of the most meaningful and lasting ways possible. They are tissue donors, in other words they have decided to allow some of their tissues to be donated after their death so that others can benefit.
There is an increasing awareness that individuals can offer help to others, through donation of organs after their death. It is also possible to donate tissues including corneas, bone, tendons, heart valves and skin. These tissues are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, some of which may be life threatening.
Every year hundreds of lives are saved with the help of donated organs such as heart and kidneys.
But you may not realize that donated tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients, and even save lives.
Unlike organs, tissues can be stored in Tissue Banks where they are prepared for transplantation.
Tissue transplantation offers huge benefits to many people, relieving their pain, helping them to see, or walk again, or return to work. A tissue transplant can even save lives.
Donation of tissues, especially in cases when organ donation is not possible, can offer the opportunity for families to fulfil their loved one’s wishes.
Many bereaved families take comfort in the knowledge that their loved one has helped others in this way.
Some tissues, such as bone, can be donated during life. But most tissues are donated after death, by people who have expressed a wish during their lifetime to help others in this way. Often they will have carried an organ donor card and/or discussed their wishes with their family.
Many people can be considered for tissue donation after death, as some tissues can be donated up to 48 hours after a person has died.
The tissues donated by one donor may enable up to 40 people to benefit from tissue transplant surgery.
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Thank you to all who attended this year Annual Scientific Meeting in NHSBT Liverpool.
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Please logon / Register to see our Photo Gallery of members enjoying BATB Annual Scientific meeting 2013 in Edinburgh, 2012 in Oxford, 2011 in Leicester, 2010 in Belfast, and also BATB members at the EATB/World Congress in Barcelona November 2011 and BATB members at EATB/BATB meeting in Edinburgh 2008.
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