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Tissue donation (after death) referrals

Tissue donation is the act of donating your tissues after death.

Many tissues can be donated, including heart valves, corneas (the clear surface of the eye) and bone.

These tissues can be used for life-changing surgery; for example, a corneal transplant can restore a person's sight. It can realise the wishes the deceased patient may have expressed in life. It creates something positive from death.

The wish to donate tissue can be expressed before death, but the process of tissue donation is initiated after death. Many people are eligible for tissue donation after death.

Consent to donate tissues after death is sought from the person's next of kin. We encourage our patients to tell their families and friends if they want to be considered for tissue donation.

For more information on tissue donation after death, visit:

About tissue donation - NHS Organ Donation

Tissue donation at Oxford University Hospitals

Tissue donation from Oxford University Hospitals is possible. Please speak to the clinical teams involved in your care if you would like to be considered for tissue donation.

Family or next of kin may also do this, including after someone has died.

A donation (collection of tissues) needs to within 24 to 48 hours of the person's death. We use the national service, called the national referral centre (NRC) that is part of NHS Blood and Transplant.

Tissue and eye services - NHS Blood and Transplant

At the clinical team's request, the NRC team will speak to the next of kin after the person has died and will obtain their consent.

If possible, the NRC then arrange for the tissue donation from our hospital mortuaries.

Last reviewed:15 February 2024