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4 What is tissue donation?
Tissue donation is the gift of tissue such as corneas, skin, bone, tendons, cartilage and heart valves to help others.
The first successful cornea transplant was in 1905. Every year thousands of people with a severe eye disease or injury have their sight restored by donated corneas.
Bone, tendons and cartilage are used for reconstruction after an injury or during joint replacement surgery. A bone transplant can prevent limb amputation in patients suffering from bone cancer.
Heart valves are used to help children born with heart defects and adults with diseased or damaged valves. Skin grafts are used to treat people with severe burns.
Most people can donate tissue. Unlike organs, it may be possible to donate tissue up to 48 hours after a person has died.
Reproductive organs and tissue are not taken from dead donors.
5 Does joining the NHS Organ Donor Register mean I am agreeing to donate my face or limbs for transplant?
No. We would require specific agreement for these forms of donation – either from you during your lifetime or from your next of kin after death. Let those close to you know your wishes.
Send an e-card
Once you’ve joined the register send one of our campaign e-cards to your family and friends to let them know!
Click here to send an e-card
Black and Asian Communities
Why tell a loved one?
In Wales, like the rest of the UK, most organ donations come from heartbeating donors.
Click here to find out more.