Funeral Home Resources
Versiti Organ and Tissue provides resources for funeral homes managing deceased individuals who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.
When a patient dies, hospital staff notify family members. Federal regulations mandate that the hospital notify an organ donation organization and tissue bank of all deaths. Versiti receives and coordinates organ and tissue referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Deceased patients are assessed for suitability for organ and tissue donation based on criteria like age, cause of death and medical history.
First-person authorization is a patient’s legal consent to donate, as outlined in Wisconsin State Statute 157.06. Versiti checks the local and national donor registries and any advance directive documentation to determine whether the deceased is a registered donor. The family/legal next of kin is informed of the deceased’s promise to give the gift of life. If the patient is a suitable donor, Versiti will discuss donation with the donor’s family/legal next of kin.
Donor families or next of kin must answer a medical/social questionnaire to ensure Versiti can best assess the most accurate health information and properly match donors and recipients.
If the donor’s tissues are suitable, they are recovered during an aseptic surgical procedure. Following the procedure, the body is reconstructed. The recovered tissues are then transported to tissue processing agencies, where they are processed and sent to healthcare partners, such as hospitals and dental practices, to be used as grafts for transplantation. If certain tissues cannot be used for transplantation, some may be donated for research.