What is human tissue?

Human tissues are a collection of cells, usually non-vascularized, including ligaments, tendons, arteries and corneas, plus many more. Many people confuse human tissue with organs. Unlike organs, human tissue can be harvested hours after blood circulation ceases. This significantly increases the potential for tissue donation after someone dies.

Héma-Québec collects the following human tissue:

  • Musculoskeletal tissues (ligaments, tendons, bone chips and femoral heads, the end of the femur)
  • Arterial tissues (abdominal aortas and arteries)
  • Cutaneous tissues (skin)
  • Heart valves
  • Corneas

Transplant Québec is responsible for the donation and management of organs.

Tissue, which can be stored for up to five years, is processed and stored through a cryopreservation or cryostorage process (depending on the type) until the recipient needs it.

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