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How does a donated organ reach its recipient?

When a patient dies, the hospital must contact the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). A member of the OPO then determines if you are a designated donor or if you are a potential donor and if your organs are candidates for donation. Your family is contacted about donation, is asked for consent if you are not registered as an organ donor and is asked about your medical history.

If a determination is made that your organ can be used, it is removed, packaged and delivered to the transplant hospital. If the transplant hospital is near the location of your body, an OPO representative will transport your organ in a cooler. If the destination is farther away, however, a contracted team from that hospital or OPO will fly to the organ, pick it up and take it to the transplant hospital. You're your organ will be transplanted.

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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.