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Who can be a tissue donor?

Types of donation

How can I donate?

Why should I donate?


Who can be a tissue donor?

Tissue donors can be persons legally certified dead, or living donors whose tissues are to be removed during a surgical operation and would otherwise be ‘discarded'.

Tissue safety starts with a careful assessment of donor suitability. The eligibility criteria are very selective and consider the medical and social story of the potential donor, his/her clinical and physical condition and the results of blood tests carried out on the live patient or at autopsy.


Types of donation

Donors can be broken down into 3 classes:

  1. Heartbeating (HB) cadaver donors, i.e. donors whose death has been neurologically ascertained (brain dead);
  2. Non-heart-beating (NHB) cadavers: donors in cardiac arrest, i.e., whose heart has stopped beating;
  3. Living donors, i.e. persons consenting to the donation of their tissues during surgery.

How can I donate?

Donation is regulated by Italian law no. 91/99, which lays down the principles of explicit consent or dissent to donation. As a result, anyone may validly declare his/her wish to donate organs or tissues choosing one of the following ways:

  • obtaining a Ministry for Health blue card, as of May 2000;
  • registering your wishes with the appropriate desk at your Local Healthcare Unit or Local Authorities;
  • making a signed declaration indicating your intention to donate your tissues on a simple sheet of white paper, giving your name, surname, date and place of birth, date of the document and signature;
  • obtaining an A.I.D.O (Italian Organ Donation Association) card or making a hand written declaration;
  • filling out and signing a special form available at the citizens' registration office of some municipalities when applying for or renewing your identity card.

Expressing your wish to become a donor is easy.

Becoming a donor means living your life with an awareness of others and with a sense of the future.


Why donate tissues?

Being able to donate tissues to a person in need is a great opportunity.

Those receiving tissues will benefit extensively. The life-enhancing advantages provided by donor tissues include:

  1. absence of reject. Tissues preserved at low temperatures have very little immunogenicity, we may all become tissue recipients;
  2. resistance to infections;
  3. excellent haemodynamic properties;
  4. excellent osteoinductive, conductive and mechanical resistance properties;
  5. absence of clot formation (thrombus formation);
  6. tissue regeneration, with the growth of the recipient's own cells;
  7. long-term preservation that maintains donated tissue properties intact;
  8. high safety levels.