Unit 4: Summary and Quiz

A donor case is resolved only when all medically suitable organs, tissues, and corneas have been recovered and the donor’s body is released to the funeral home. The process can be complex and time-consuming, creating difficult circumstances for the donor family and hospital staff. CORE’s OPCs are specially trained to provide support to families and hospital staff during this period. Once the organs, tissues, and corneas have been recovered, they must be transported to regional or national transplant centers.

The donor-recipient match process operates according the principles of equity and fairness. After the patient has been declared dead by neurological criteria or the family has decided to withdraw care and authorizes donation, CORE initiates the match process by querying UNet for each eligible organ. UNet generates a priority list of waitlisted patients based on several suitability factors, including:

  • Geographical proximity or the recipient and donor
  • Time spent on the waiting list
  • The potential recipient’s health status
  • HLA crossmatch
  • Blood-type and subtype

Each organ is offered to the top-listed waiting list candidate. If the recipient’s transplant team accepts the organ, recovery surgery is arranged at the donor’s hospital or, in some cases, the donor is transported to CORE’s main facility in Pittsburgh. 

Tissue and Corneas
Tissue donation is more common than organ donation. Even though suitability criteria for tissue donation are stricter than for organ donation, more patients are eligible for tissue donation because it doesn’t require having had ventilator support. Anyone who dies has the potential to donate tissue and corneas.

Hospital staff can contribute to good patient and donor care by practicing proper donor management and care for organs, tissues, and eyes. In addition, staff should maintain communication with CORE’s representative at every stage of the donor support process.

Unit 4 Quiz: Donors Matter


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Curious to learn more about organ and tissue donation? Check out our resources section for links to articles and other materials covering every aspect of this complex and important issue.