What types of donors are there? 

There are two types of donors according to the origin of the organ or tissue: living donor and deceased donor.


types of donors

  • Living donor is the person who makes the donation in life. This type of transplant is performed with the assurance that the extraction will not represent any health problem for the donor. The organs that can be given in life are a kidney, a part of the liver, a lung or the pancreas. Hematopoietic progenitors (peripheral blood, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood), bone tissue, amniotic membrane and skin are the tissues that can be donated in life. The most common living donors are umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, and kidney. The organ from the living donor will always be directed to a specific person, who is usually from the family environment, although it is not essential.
  • A deceased donor is called the person who donates his organs or tissues to be extracted after his death. Deceased donors can be brain death (irreversible destruction of the brain) or donors in asystole (irreversible cardiac arrest).

In US the donor died of brain death is the majority and accounts for approximately 80% of all donors.

Who can be a donor? 

  • Living Donor: Any person of legal age and full of health who is of legal age. These situations will be verified and certified by doctors other than those who will perform the transplant and must be approved by the Ethics Committees and the Civil Registry Court.
  • Donor deceased : Any person of any age (from newborns up to more than 75 years old), who until the moment of the donation has not had any disease transmissible with the donation (cancer or infectious diseases) and can not be donated History of risk that contraindicates the donation. In short, practically everyone can be a donor.

How are donors usually? 

Until a few years ago most of the donors died from complete and irreversible destruction of the brain due to traumatic brain injury due to traffic accident. However, at present, the first cause of death of deceased donors is the destruction of the brain secondary to cerebral hemorrhage. This circumstance has been responsible for raising the average age of deceased donors.

What can you donate? 

In all cases only the organs or tissues with the possibility of being transplanted will be removed. It is necessary to differentiate the organs denominated solid like: kidney, heart, liver, intestine, lung, pancreas; Of tissues such as: corneas, bone, skin, cartilage, tendons, amniotic membrane, heart valves, arteries, veins and hematopoietic progenitors (peripheral blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord).

The deceased donor can donate all its solid organs and tissues while the living donor can only donate one of its kidneys, a part of the liver, lung or pancreas and bone tissue, hematopoietic progenitors, amniotic membrane or skin.

If more than one solid organ (kidney, liver, heart, lung or pancreas) is removed, the donation is called multiorgan. If the extracted tissues are two or more, we are talking about multi-tissue donation.

What is usually done with extracted and non-transplanted organs? 

When a deceased donor organ is extracted that, due to the circumstances, does not end up being valid for transplantation, it is sent to the Department of Pathological Anatomy for analysis and then incinerated.

What evidence is given to donors? 

All donors are given multiple tests and other diagnostic tests to check the good condition and functioning of the organ or tissue to be transplanted and to verify the absence of transmissible diseases that could cause a contagion to the recipient. In addition, in the case of live donors, donor-recipient compatibility tests are performed to ensure the viability of the transplanted organ.

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