DCIDS’ organizations have agreements to act as the organ and tissue recovery agency with hospitals in their respective areas.
When a potential donor is identified by one of those hospitals, the local recovery agency is notified. A Transplant Coordinator, in conjunction with a Family Care Coordinator, immediately begins facilitating the donation process and assesses the statewide registry to establish if the potential donor has signed up to be an organ/tissue donor. If the potential donor is on the registry, the family is notified and the donation process proceeds. If the potential donor has not signed up on the registry, the Family Care Coordinator supports the donor family and consults them regarding possible donation.
The recovery agency then evaluates the medical suitability of the donor, manages the medical care of the donor until transplantation can take place, and taps into a national database to identify patients in need of transplants. Finally, DCIDS manages the transport of organs/tissues to the surgeons who will perform the transplants into waiting recipients.
The local regional recovery agencies work collaboratively with Coroner and Medical Examiner offices.
The Coroner and Medical Examiner play an important role in the organ and tissue donation process. Since all unexpected deaths require Coroner or Medical Examiner review, their cooperation and support is vital for ensuring successful organ and tissue donations, benefiting thousands of transplant recipients each year.
DCIDS collaborates with Medical Examiners and Coroners in the referral and evaluation of potential organ and tissue donors to broaden the donation options for donor families, while preserving evidence for death investigations to determine the cause and manner of death.
The Coroner and Medical Examiners play a significant role in helping both grieving donor families and transplant patients in need of lifesaving, life-improving tissue grafts by notifying DCIDS of any deaths that do not occur in a hospital. This is a great service to those in need of transplants and to surviving families and friends who choose donation.
DCIDS works with funeral homes to assure that the family’s wish to donate and their desire for a meaningful funeral can be fulfilled. DCIDS regional offices have a staff position dedicated to specifically assisting funeral homes in meeting the needs of donor families.
DCIDS regional offices are available to provide education to funeral homes about organ and tissue donation, and to assist on a case-by-case basis. Funeral Home Directors may contact their local DCIDS office for additional information about our services.