Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the organ donation and tissue donation?
Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas are organs. An organ donor is a brain dead individual, whose life functions are maintained mechanically. The tissue type of the organ donor and the organ recipient must match as closely as possible. Tissues that can be transplanted are for example the cornea and the sclera of the eye, heart valves, bone, tendons, cartilage and skin. The tissue donor may be a living or a deceased person. In addition, some of the organ donors may be accepted as tissue donors. All the tissues mentioned above may be procured from a deceased person. A living donor may donate bone tissue in conjunction with a hip procedure, for example, where prosthesis is replacing the donated tip of the femur. An amniotic membrane, which is the innermost membrane of the amniotic sac, may be donated during a planned cesarean section. Tissue allografts do not typically cause rejection reactions and thus the tissue transplantations are easy to carry out from one tissue donor to one or more tissue recipients.
How could I become a donor?
The best way to bring up your desire to act as a tissue donor is to sign an organ donor card that is available in the pharmacies, hospitals and stores. It is good to carry the card in your wallet, for example, so that it is with you at all times. The wish of becoming a tissue and organ donor should also be mentioned to your family members and other relatives so that they are aware of your wishes.
What if my family is against me being a tissue donor?
The best way to ensure that your wishes are heard is to receive accurate information about the tissue donations, to make a personal decision about it and inform your loved ones of your choice. It is also good to always carry the tissue donor card with you.
Is there a compensation for tissue donations?
No. The law regulates the tissue institution activities and all tissue donations are done without compensation. The tissue bank is also a non-profit institution that is allowed to charge only for their own expenses in handling and distributing the tissues.
What does a non-profit institution do with the proceeds received from supplying the tissues?
Procurement, storing, and processing of tissues costs. Similarly, the testing of the donors to ensure the safety of the tissues causes expenses. All these expenses are covered with the proceeds received from supplying the tissues.
How is the tissue donor tested?
All tissue donors are tested by lab tests in accordance with the EU directives to ensure the safety of the tissue donations.
May I be a tissue donor, if I have a disease of some kind?
All tissue donors will be evaluated to verify their suitability to be a tissue donor. Because of the exacting exclusion criteria, some of the tissue donors will have to be turned down. All illnesses are not a barrier for tissue donation, but you don’t need to be aware of these things. The tissue coordinators at Regea evaluate each donor individually.
May the recipient know who the donor was?
No. Everyone involved in the tissue bank operations are bound by confidentiality.