Which Organs and Tissues Can Be Donated After Death?

Organ and tissue donation is one of the most giving and altruistic acts a person can do, literally giving life to a person who desperately needs help. Since the 1960s, organ donations from both living and deceased donors have saved millions of lives. Technology has come a long way, allowing rejection rates to plummet, and greatly increasing the success rates of patients in need. If you have been considering organ and tissue donation upon your death, there are so many ways you can give.

Which Organs Can Be Donated After Death?

An organ donor may be able to save up to eight lives after his or her passing. The organs typically received from a donor include:

  • Heart
  • Two Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Liver (2 recipients)
  • Two Kidneys

Transplanted tissue cannot only drastically improve someone’s ability to function; it can also mean the difference between life and death. Tissues that can be donated include:

  • Corneas (the part of the eye in front of the iris)
  • Bones
  • Skin
  • Veins
  • Heart Valves
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons

The gift of these tissues as a donation can enhance the lives of more than 25 people. For example, skin can be used to help burn patients heal, and corneas can return sight to those who have been blind for years, giving them a fresh start at life.

How Does Organ Donation Work?

Organ donation can be done by registering with your state, typically through your local Department of Motor Vehicles, as an organ donor. One of the best ways to learn about and promote organ donation is by talking to your family about it.

After your passing, your body will then become the lifeline for several people waiting for transplants. Multiple people suffering through a variety of ailments such as diseases or trauma can be saved through your donation.

Are you ready to change lives by registering to become an organ donor in Illinois? Interested in more information about living or deceased organ donation? Gift of Hope is the federally designated organ procurement organization in Illinois and Northwest Indiana with the mission of saving and enhancing as many lives as possible through organ and tissue donation. Contact us for more information about how you can help.