While a thorough review of your medical history will be required, you should not assume that you are too old or not healthy enough to donate.
Strict criteria and regulatory controls for screening and testing are in place to minimise the risk of the transmission of disease, thus ensuring the safety of recipients.
People who need a tissue transplant can also be of any age. In some cases, tissue can save lives. More often, it greatly improves the recipient’s life.
Donated bone tissue can be grafted to replace bone which has been lost as a result of tumours or through other disease or accidents. It is also used to aid fracture healing, strengthen hip and knee joint replacements, and to repair curvatures of the spine (scoliosis) in children and teenagers. One donor can transform the lives of many people - there are often 20-30 recipients who benefit from one multi-tissue donor.
Patients undergoing hip replacement surgery can choose to donate the ball part of their hip joint (femoral head), which is removed and otherwise discarded as a routine part of the procedure.
It is possible to donate bone and other tissue when you pass away. It is important to discuss your wishes about organ and tissue donation with your family, so that your next of kin can make an informed decision if approached by a Donor Coordinator after your death.
You can also register your wishes on the Australian Organ Donor Register
The femoral head is the ball part of the hip joint, and is normally removed during hip replacement surgery. With your consent, this bone can be donated to PlusLife and used for transplant purposes. Bone donation is voluntary and does not in any way alter how your hip replacement surgery is performed. There is no age limit, and no cost to you.
Your surgeon or the hospital should refer you to our Donor Liaison staff, who will contact you to explain the donation process to you and assist you to complete the required documentation.
It is a legal requirement that we have your permission to collect your bone and to conduct the required laboratory tests. Our Donor Liaison staff will interview you over the telephone and record your consent at the completion of the interview. All the questions in the consent form and interview relate to your medical and social history. These questions are necessary to enable us to obtain a full medical history from you, and to assist us to reduce the risk of transmitting disease to patients who may require bone grafts.
You can withdraw consent at any time if you change your mind, or have any concerns about the process, simply notify our staff.
"I was impressed with the way it was all handled and the post op follow up visit."
"Interesting, professional and not difficult to co-operate."
"My memory is bad, it was good to get a reminder for the follow up blood test (where, when & no cost to the donor)."
"Everyone was very considerate."
"Excellent service, so happy to be able to help."
"Everyone I had contact with was very professional and I had no negative experiences from it."
"Very happy, given all the information that I needed."
"Everything was perfect, I felt great to think I was helping someone else. Keep up the great work!"