How does the donation process start when someone dies?

Registering with Donate Life Texas records your decision to be a donor and makes it known to the right people at their right time, automatically.  Your registration leaves this precious, lifesaving option open, helping to ensure that no medically-viable organ is ever lost for lack of consent.

For organs to be eligible for donation, a person must pass away in a hospital on a ventilator.  A traumatic brain injury or stroke leading to brain death are the most common causes of death that allow a person to become an organ donor, but not the only ones. In some cases, a person who suffers cardiac death can become an organ donor, but only under very specific circumstances. The critical point is that blood must continually circulate oxygen to organs in order for them to remain viable for donation.

Depending on the situation, those who pass in a different way outside a hospital setting may still be candidates for cornea and tissue donation.  In these cases, donation logistics would be coordinated by the funeral home or medical examiner’s office and the appropriate tissue and eye banks.

It may be helpful to know that family members will only be contacted by organ, eye and tissue recovery specialists if donation is an option.  If donation is not an option, donation specialists will not contact the family to spare them any unnecessary hassle during what is an already stressful time.