If tissues are packaged and stored properly, most can be kept from 5 to 10 years, depending on the procedures set forth by the processing agency.
Heart valves help repair cardiac defects and are used to replace diseased or deformed valves. Donated valves may be life-saving for these recipients.
Long bones of the leg and the crest of the hip become several smaller grafts used for spinal fusions, dental surgeries, and to repair damaged or diseased bone anywhere in the body. Bone grafts prevent amputations, as well as accelerate and promote healing.
Skin is an organ that is often abused and underappreciated by the individual until its compromised results and pain and loss of resistance to infection. Among the uses for skin grafting are promotion of accelerated healing of burns and other wounds, reduction of scar tissue, reduction of fluid loss, and protection from bacterial infection.
Saphenous veins can be used in cardiac bypass surgeries and in preventing amputations in individuals with chronic circulation problems by restoring blood flow to a leg.
Tendons and ligaments can be used to replace damaged tendons and ligaments in patients who have sustained injuries, restoring mobility and independence.
Fascia is the tough membrane that encases muscles. It is used as a tendon to repair injuries or as an internal support for organs such as the bladder.
Nerves provide the pathway for both motor and sensory signals between the central nervous system and muscles or organs throughout the body. Nerve injuries may result in loss of motor function, sensory function, or both. Nerve injuries may occur as a result of trauma or acute compression.
Yes, it is. The donated tissues are removed in an aseptic environment using standard surgical procedures. During the process, the donor’s body is treated with the utmost care and respect. Surgical reconstruction is always performed to restore the body to its natural shape and to allow for open casket viewing.