What is the difference between organ donation and tissue donation?
Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancrea are organs. An organ donor is a braindead individual, whose life functions are maintained mechanically. Kidneys can be donated by a living donor. The tissue types of the organ donor and the organ recipient must match as closely as possible.
Cornea, sclera, heart valves, bone, tendons, cartilage and skin are tissues. Tissue donor may be a living or a deceased person. Organ donors can also be tissue donors, if they fulfil the specific criteria for tissue donation.
The tissues listed above can be procured from a deceased person. A living donor can donate bone tissue when in a hip procedure, where a prosthesis is replacing the donated femoral head. An amniotic membrane, which is the innermost membrane of the amniotic sac, can be donated during a planned cesarean section. Tissue transplants do not normally cause rejection.
How can I become a donor?
The best way to communicate your desire to be an organ/tissue donor is to sign the organ/tissue donor card. The card is also available as an app that can be downloaded to your cell phone. In addition to these, you can document your decision in OmaKanta. It is important to also express the desire of becoming a tissue and organ donor to your next of kin.
Is there a compensation for tissue donation?
No, the law states that there shall be no compensation for tissue donations.
The law states that tissue banks shall be non-profit institutions that are allowed to charge only for their own expenses in handling and distributing the tissues. Procurement, storing, processing and testing of tissue transplants cause expenses. Similarly, the testing of donors to ensure the safety of transplants causes expenses. These costs are covered with the payments received from hospitals that use the transplants.
What does a non-profit institution do with the revenue received from supplying the tissues?
Procurement, storing, processing and testing of tissues cost money. Similarly, the testing of donors to ensure the safety of the tissues causes expenses. All these expenses are covered with the revenue received from supplying the tissues.
How are tissue donors tested?
The same principles apply for tissue donation as for blood donation. All tissue donors are tested by lab tests (HIV, HTLV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C) to ensure the safety of the tissue donations.
May I be a tissue donor, if I have a medical condition?
All tissue donors are evaluated according to the medical criteria defined by legislation. Certain medical conditions are exclusion criteria for tissue donation, but you do not need to be aware of these yourself.
May the recipient know who the donor was?
No. Legislation requires this information to be confidential.