Over the last 3 months, we have issued an unprecedented level of donated skin for transplantation and we are currently trying to replace / replenish our clinical supply so that we can continue to meet demand as needed from the Specialist Burns Units.
Similarly the requirements for corneal grafts is also being reviewed and we are rapidly looking at opportunities to increase the number of corneal donors to ensure we can meet the UK demand which currently isn’t possible from the current donor pool.
We would greatly appreciate you and your colleagues help within the Mortuary environments to help raise the subject of donation as part of your routine end of life care conversations with the bereaved and refer potential donors to our National Referral Centre for the donation process to begin.
Approaching the subject of tissue donation should be normal practice and a routine part of the end of life / after death care pathway, therefore we would advise that the subject is approached at the time of informing the relatives of their loved ones death. It is important to remember that donation is a positive act of giving in an otherwise tragic situation and that the subject should not be taboo but a continuation of care and respecting the patient’s wishes.
To refer a potential patient for tissue donation, contact our Specialist Nurses in the National Referral Centre on 0800 432 0559 to discuss the case further.
If you would like to know more about tissue donation or how you can help within your Hospital / Trust / Mortuary to increase tissue donation awareness and ultimately referrals, please do not hesitate to contact me below.
On behalf of all Tissue Services staff, donors and their loved ones, I would like to thank you all for helping us to facilitate tissue donation.
Regional Tissue Donation Manager
NHSBT Tissue Services
Tel: 020 8957 2943