How Tissue & Cornea Transplants Work

Tissue, such as skin, musculoskeletal tissue and heart valves can be recovered from brain dead donors who can also donate solid organs.

If a donor is declared to have died because his or her heart stopped beating (not brain death), then the individual can only be a potential tissue and eye (cornea) donor.

Unlike the waiting list for organs, there is no formal database for those who need a tissue transplant.

But at a moment’s notice, tissue has to be made available.

For example, in the case of a burn victim, the availability of skin can mean the difference between survival and death. In these cases, authorization for donation is sought by phone by members of LiveOnNY's 24-hour Donor Center.