Tissue donation





> 1 year <24 hrs post asystole

Heart valves

1 - 60 years <48 hrs post asystole


> 18 years <48 hrs post asystole


18 - 65 years <24 hrs post asystole

Absolute contra-indications to tissue donation

  • Individuals who have:
    • AIDS, are HIV positive or think they need a HIV test
    • Ever injected themselves with drugs
    • Ever worked as a prostitute
    • Ever had sex with someone who has AIDS or is HIV positive
    • Men having sex with another man
    • Within the last 12 months having sex with someone who has participated in the above high risk activities
      • Within the last 12 months has had sex with someone, of any race, living in Africa (apart from Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt)
      • Women who have ever had sex with a man known to have haemophilia.
  • Individuals known to be infected with Hepatitis B or at risk of transmitting Hepatitis B
  • Individuals known to be infected with Hepatitis C or at risk of transmitting Hepatitis C.
  • Recipients of human derived pituitary growth hormone or gonadotrophins.
  • Suffers from CJD or with a family history of CJD.
  • Sufferers of degenerative neurological diseases of unknown aetiology, e.g. Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, dementia.
  • Patients with disease of unknown aetiology.
  • Patients with auto-immune disorders.
  • Unknown cause of death unless a post-mortem is pending.
  • Recipients of previous tissue or organ transplants.
  • Brain/spinal surgery before August 1992.
  • Leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma.
  • Possible or confirmed rabies.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Patients with encephalitis, unless the causative agent is known and appropriate antibiotic treatment has been given.

These are the main exclusion criteria but the list is not exhaustive and further advice may be required.

How to make a Donor referral

If you are unsure please contact the Tissue Coordinator for advice and information before the family goes home.

  • Ensure the patient fulfils the criteria for tissue donation
  • Discuss with legal next of kin and ensure the relatives do not object to tissues for donation and/or research.
  • Ensure the next of kin sign a lack of objection form. 
  • Ensure the family has completed a keeping transplants safe form.
  • Explain to the family that they will be contacted by one of the Tissue Co-ordinators.
  • Ensure the outcome of the discussion is documented in the patient's notes.
  • Collate information needed to refer patient to the Tissue Co-ordinator:
    • Donors name, date of birth, address and hospital number.
    • Next of kin's address and telephone number.
    • GP details.
    • Date, time and cause of death.
    • Any past medical history.
    • If the patient will be referred to the coroner.
    • Will there be a post mortem?
  • Refer the patient to the Tissue Co-ordinator


The tissue coordinator is always available for advice : The philosophy is to provide information to bereaved families to allow them to make an informed choice.

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 01/03/2004. Reviewed by Dr ÍOS 16/05/2005, 23/05/2006, 03/07/2007. Next review 03/07/2008.