Besides organs, what other body parts can be donated?

In addition to the gift of solid organ transplants (heart, lung, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestine), donors can donate their tissue (skin, bone, tendons, veins) and eyes/corneas to help others.

Organs are not the only body parts that can be donated. You can also donate blood stem cells, tissue, blood and platelets and even your entire body.

Tissue is made up of layers of cells that function together to handle a specific purpose. Tissue must be donated within the first 24 hours after death. Tissue donations include:

  • The cornea: This is one of the most commonly transplanted tissues. It is a transparent covering over the eye and is the eye's primary focusing component. It can restore sight to someone who is blinded by infection, disease or an accident. Corneas can be transplanted in parts, or whole, and do not require anti-rejection drugs in the recipient. The age of the person donating the cornea makes no difference.
  • Bones: A donated bone can be used to replace a bone with cancer, in lieu of amputating the limb.
  • Skin: It can be used in grafts for burn victims or in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, or for other uses.
  • Veins: Cardiac bypass surgery uses donated veins.
  • Tendons, ligaments, cartilage and ligaments are other types of donated tissue.

Continue Learning about Blood Parts

What is hemoglobin D trait?
Shelley Chermak - Elite Trainer, RNShelley Chermak - Elite Trainer, RN
Hemoglobin carries oxygen to all parts of the body. It is the main ingredient in red blood cells. Mo...
More Answers
What are white blood cells?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
White blood cells are responsible for protecting the body from invasion by foreign substances, such ...
More Answers
What is homocysteine?
National Kidney FoundationNational Kidney Foundation
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is made in your body. High levels of homocysteine in your blood a...
More Answers
What are monocytes?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
A type of white blood cell involved in the immune response to foreign substances, monocytes are ofte...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.