1. Trauma SceneOrgan donors are victims of fatal head injuries caused by a car accident, gunshot wound or stroke.
2. Transport from AccidentParamedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) begin life-saving efforts at the scene. The patient is then transported to the hospital.
3. Emergency RoomDoctors and nurses have advanced medical equipment ready when the ambulance or helicopter arrives. They evaluate the patient's injuries and continue life-saving measures. When the person's vital signs stabilize, he/she is transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).
4. Intensive Care Unit (ICU)A doctor performs a series of tests to determine how much damage has been done to the patient's brain and body. During these tests, the hospital staff continues advanced medical treatment.
5. Brain Death DeterminationBrain death occurs when damage to the brain is so severe that it stops working permanently. Tests that show the complete loss of all brain function, including the brain stem, confirm brain death. Unlike a coma, from which a person can recover, brain death cannot be reversed. Brain death is death.However, brain death isn't the only type of death in which organ and/or tissue donation can take place. Donations may occur after cardiopulmonary or cardiac death as well. Click here to find out more on determination of donation.6. Donor Referral/EvaluationWhenever the potential for brain death exists, the hospital calls Lifebanc and provides medical information about the patient. If brain death occurs, Lifebanc evaluates the patient's medical suitability as an organ and tissue donor. It also accesses the Ohio Donor Registry to determine if the individual is a registered organ donor.7. Family ConsultationLifebanc and hospital staff consult with the family about their loved one's wishes. If the patient is not a registered donor, Lifebanc staff works with the hospital and discusses the donation process with the family or legal next of kin.8. Organ and Tissue PlacementAfter donation status has been confirmed, the donor's blood type, tissue type, body size and location are entered into the national computer system, where similar information about patients awaiting transplants is located. This criteria is used to determine the best matches for the organs. Recipients for corneas (eyes), bone and other tissue may be found later.9. Organ and Tissue RecoveryLifebanc works with the hospital staff to coordinate the surgical transplant teams and schedule the operating room. The organs are placed in sterile containers that are then packed on ice in coolers for transportation. Trained medical technicians perform bone, eye and other tissue recoveries after the organs are recovered.10. Funeral ArrangementsThe donation of organs and tissue is a surgical procedure that is done in a respectful manner. Great care is taken to maintain the structure and appearance of the person. In most cases, traditional funeral practices - including open-casket viewing - may follow if the family desires.11. Follow UpAbout two weeks after donation, the donor family receives a letter that confirms that the transplants were performed and provides limited information about each recipient. If either the recipient or donor family wishes to correspond with each other, they may contact Lifebanc Bereavement Services at 1-888-558-LIFE (5433) or 1-216-753-5433.