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Tissue Donation

Marty Wender was healed through the gift of donation when he was severely burned in a steam shower accident in his home. His burns were treated with donated skin, which prevented infection and helped him heal faster. 

Your tissue donation can help up to 75 people by treating burns, repairing joints, replacing damaged heart valves and more.

Talk to your family

  • Tissue donation can help a family cope with loss by knowing their loved one is helping others.
  • Registering as a donor helps your family make a decision about donation in the event of your death.
  • You can make your choice to be a tissue donor by registering at DonateLifeTexas.org.
  • Discussing your decision to donate with your family will help clear up any confusion about your wishes.

Eligibility

  • Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can register to be a tissue donor. Those who are under the age of 18 must have the consent of a parent or guardian.
  • Your decision to become a tissue donor can improve or save the lives of up to 75 people suffering from a number of conditions or contribute to research that will help future patients.

Donor Family Support Program

Our Grief Support and Life Legacies program also supports families of tissue donors by promoting healing, comfort and support for loved ones through workshops, events, and other resources.

FAQs

One person can save or enhance the lives of up to 75 people by donating their tissue.

  • Bone rebuilds and restores damaged bone tissue for patients needing orthopedic or reconstructive surgeries.
  • Heart valves help children and adults with damaged, diseased or malfunctioning heart valves or other heart defects.
  • Blood vessels restore blood flow, and is often used in heart bypass surgery, preventing leg amputation, and creating shunts for dialysis patients.
  • Skin tissue heals patients suffering from burns or other traumatic wounds, and in reconstructive surgeries, including those wounded during military service.
  • Tendons and ligaments restore mobility for those suffering from arthritis or other injuries, such as with an athletic injury.

In some cases, an individual may have stated their wish to be a donor on their driver’s license or in an advanced directive, such as a living will. If someone has not recorded their decision to donate, the decision becomes that of the family or other authorized person, as determined by state law.

The donation coordinator will review an authorization document with you, including each tissue your loved one can donate.  You will have the opportunity to consent to the tissues you feel comfortable with. Also, the coordinator is required to ask you a series of questions about your loved one’s past medical history.

Your family will not incur any costs related to tissue donation. However, any medical and funeral/burial costs are the family’s responsibility.

Tissue recovery does not affect your family’s ability to proceed with normal funeral services, including viewings.

Your family has the right to decide what type of tissue can be recovered, and where the tissue may be used – locally, nationally, or internationally. You also have the option of how tissue can be used.

Update your contact information by visiting DonateLifeTexas.org/my-dlt/.

You can also confirm your registry status, remove your name from the registry, and select donation preferences.

Share Your Story

Was your life saved by the generous gift of blood, marrow, tissue or cord blood? Or are you a donor who’d like to share why you chose to save a life?

About Us

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For more than 45 years, the nonprofit South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has focused on a critical purpose: to save and improve lives.

Inspired by a group of physicians, our organization was formed to provide blood to the South Texas region – ensuring a safe and adequate blood supply through proper testing, storage and distribution to hospitals. This essential service allows front-line workers to focus on the direct care of patients, with confidence that this lifesaving resource will be there when it’s needed most.

But we didn’t stop there. Over the years, we’ve evolved as the needs of our patients and hospitals have changed, driven to save lives in as many ways as possible.

We couldn’t do this without donors like you. We understand that the gift of donation is a personal, powerful choice that has the potential to touch a life. Today, we offer many ways to make a difference that include:

Our team has also expanded its programs, partnering with leaders within the healthcare industry to develop a wide range of therapies. We’ve recently developed programs to collect and distribute COVID-19 convalescent plasma, as well as improve trauma care.