Tissue Donations

Recovered Organs, Tissues and Grafts: One donor can provide 50-80 allograft tissues. The following tissues can be recovered; whole eyes, corneas, heart for valves, skin, tendons, soft connective tissue and long bones from the upper and lower extremities.

Bone allografts, cardiovascular tissue, corneas and skin, are used in surgical procedures such as; total hip revisions, cruciate ligament repair, fracture repair, spinal surgery, duraplasty, aortic and pulmonary valve replacement, skin grafting and corneal transplants.

Donor Screening: All donors referred to the Regional Tissue Bank are subject to a rigorous screening process to determine donor suitability. This includes an extensive review of medical records, physical examination, review of the autopsy report and an in-depth interview with the next of kin to complete a medical, social and sexual behavioral questionnaire. This comprehensive screen will exclude donors who may have transmissible infections, neurological disorders, diseases of unknown etiology, certain current or past malignancies or who are known to have engaged in high risk (communicable diseases) behavior. The information obtained in the screening process is confidential and utilized solely to determine donor suitability.

All potential donors are serologically screened for HIV1/2, HIV1 NAT, HepB NAT, HepC NAT, WNV NAT, HBsAg, HBcAb, HCV and syphilis.

Recovery: Tissues are recovered in an operative suite under aseptic conditions following AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses) and AATB policy guidelines. Recovery is performed by Tissue Bank Specialists certified with the American Association of Tissue Banks. Excised tissue is cultured upon retrieval and sent for extensive bacteriological and fungal sterility testing. Musculoskeletal tissue is stored at -70 degrees Celsius monitored freezers in preparation for processing.

Processing: The tissue is processed in controlled aseptic environments, class 100 or class 1000, following AATB policies. Cellular debris is removed in the cleaning process and all tissue is subjected to an antibiotic soak. All grafts are cultured for aerobic and anaerobic organisms and fungus prior to packaging. Tissues must have negative culture results prior to being released for transplantation.

Preservation: The tissue preservation methods used by Regional Tissue Bank are simple hypothermia, freezing and cryopreservation. Bone, tendons and soft tissue are frozen and maintained at a temperature of -70ºC for a period of up to five years. Cardiovascular and skin tissue are cryopreserved using a controlled rate freeze and maintained at a temperature below -100ºC for a period of up to five years. This means of preservation maintains structural integrity. Simple hypothermia is used for the short-term storage (days) of fresh skin, bone grafts and ocular tissue.

Release: All screening mechanisms, processing techniques and laboratory tests performed ensure that only medically suitable donors are used to provide the safest allograft tissue for transplantation. All information related to donor screening, retrieval and processing is reviewed by the medical director who approves the release of tissue products for transplantation.