Donation is the highly humane act of donating cells, tissues or organs for transplantation or for other medical purposes. Due to the fundamental difference between organ and tissue donation, incl. different criteria for donor evaluation, conditioning, recovery, storage, transplantation and post-transplant control, transplantology is divided into organ and tissue and cell. 

Several years ago, the European Commission and Parliament defined tissue donation as a priority in the health systems of the EU member states through Directive 2004/23/EC. 

Questions and Answers

From the standpoint of almost two decades of experience in the field of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, our team will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about donation and transplantation. 

What is the position of the different religions on the issue of donation?

All major religions support organ, eye and tissue donation and consider donation the greatest gift one can give. Transplantation is consistent with the life-preserving traditions of these faiths. HERE.

How does the tissue recovery affect the funeral arrangements?

Recovery procedures are performed in strict compliance with the ethical principles and the donor is treated with utmost respect and dignity. After the cosmetic restoration, the family will make funeral or church-ritual arrangements in the usual fashion. In fact, tissue recovery is in many cases a less invasive procedure than pathological or forensic examination. 

What is donation?

The term “donation” describes the highly humane act of donating cells, tissues or organs to be transplanted into a needy patient (recipient), or for medical purposes. Donation is divided into 2 main categories: 

(1) living-related, where the donor is alive, in most cases close to the recipient. The limited parameters of this type of donation are obvious due to the risks to the health of the donor. This category includes the donation of paired organs (mostly kidneys) and tissues and / or cells, the lack of which has no life-threatening effect. 

(2) cadaveric donation, it is possible within 24 to 36 hours after death. 

If death is diagnosed on the basis of cardiovascular criteria (i.e. on the basis of definitive and irreversible cardiac arrest), donation can only be tissue-cell due to the irreversible organ damage soon after cardiac arrest. If death is diagnosed on the basis of cerebrovascular criteria (i.e on the basis of the so-called Harvard criteria, supplemented by the Minnesota criteria) based on the final and irreversible cessation of the activity of the whole brain, incl. brainstem, organ donation is also possible. 

 Due to the fundamental differences between organ and tissue  and cell donation, incl. different criteria for donor evaluation, conditioning, recovery, storage, transplantation, and post-transplant control, they are divided into organ and tissue and cell donation. 

Traditionally and historically, bone marrow transplantation has become a separate area, which falls within the territory of onco-hematology and transfusion medicine and is not subject to tissue banking. 

Who can be a donor?

In the case of cadaveric donation, any individual, up to 36 hours after death, if he has not suffered from certain transmissible diseases (which can be transmitted from donor to recipient), can be considered a potential donor. A potential donor can become a real donor only if the results of the evaluation meet the medical standards and if his relatives declare consent for donation.

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