What does human tissue donation involve?
Human tissue donation involves the removal of body tissue from someone who is no longer breathing or has no pulse. It's all about creating a legacy of life

How is the tissue harvested?
First, the donor's body is handled with care and respect by a team of professionals who specialize in harvesting tissue. Samples are taken in Héma-Québec's specially designed facilities or hospital operating rooms — in accordance with strict protocols that comply with the standards of Health Canada and other recognized regulatory agencies.

When does the tissue donation process begin?
The donor qualification process begins as soon as the family of the donors consent to removing their tissue, which must be harvested as soon as they die to ensure its quality.

When someone donates tissue, are there any screening tests involved?
Blood is drawn to determine the serologic profile of the donors (for factors such as their blood type, Rh factor, HIV and hepatitis).

What is the age limit for tissue donors?
Age criteria varies according to the type of tissue:

  • Heart valves (birth to age 60)
  • Skin, bone and tendon donations (ages 15 to 70)
  • Eye donations (ages 2 to 85)

What about confidentiality?
Test results, like any personal donation information, must be kept confidential. For this reason, all assessment and serologic results (serum studies) remain strictly confidential and can only be used to determine the eligibility of a potential donor.

What happens to the tissue after it’s harvested?
Tissue is, processed and stored through a cryopreservation or cryostorage process (depending on the type) until it’s transplanted. Bacteriological tests are also performed on the harvested tissue to ensure that the graft (transplanted tissue or organ) for the future recipient meets the strictest quality standards.

How many people can benefit from a transplant through tissue donation?
One human tissue donor can help improve the lives of more than 20 recipients.

Human tissue and organ donation: What’s the difference?
Unlike organs, human tissue can be harvested hours after blood circulation ceases. This significantly increases the potential for tissue donation after someone dies.

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