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Donation after death

Some tissues may be donated after death. In the Oxford region, heart valve, eyes, and brain and spinal cord tissues may be donated.

Heart valve

Heart valve tissue can be transplanted from one donor to help up to four patients.

Heart valve tissue transplants can save the lives of babies and children born with heart defects and adults suffering with diseased or infected heart valves.


Eye tissue can be transplanted to help up to ten patients.

The outer layer, or 'cornea', is used for cornea transplantation, and the white part of the eye, or 'schlera', is used for glaucoma operations. Both will restore the sight of people who are blind.

Brain and spinal cord

Brain and spinal cord tissue can be donated for:

  • research to understand disease
  • the development of new medicines and treatments
  • improving ways of detecting diseases.

Neurological tissue donated in the Oxford region can be used for research into Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, Motor Neuron disease and Ataxia and Autism.