What is the shelf life of donated organs?

I can only answer for cornea and eye donation.

The FDA does all oversight (no pun intended) of organ disposition.

The main organs - hearts, liver, pancreas, lungs etc are transplanted within hours. They are just not viable if they are not being perfused constantly.

The other tissues like bone, skin, tendons, etc. do not need to be transplanted immediately. But I am not sure on the regulations of when they need to be transplanted.

With eyes there are 4 tissues that can be recovered.

We recover whole eyes for research and education purposes. These usually go much faster, but we can hold them up to a year.

Conjunctiva can also be recovered. Conjunctiva is a clear covering over most of the eye, it is what gets irritated when you have pink eye. I have been working as a recovery tech for 5 years, and our office has not had a request for “conj” in all that time. I believe it is mostly used for research, but I could be wrong.

Sclera is the white area of your eye. It is fairly thick and flexible. If you have ever touched a reptile egg, that is what it reminds me of. We recover sclera for transplant. They use it for several things, but mainly to patch punctures. Similar to if you pop the inner tube of your bike and repair it. Sclera can also be used to repair ear drums. We can hold onto this for up to a year.

The main thing we recover is corneas. In the USA we must transplant these within 7 days of recovery. (Recovery is usually within hours of death, but we can push it up to 20 hours after in needed.) Sometimes we have more corneas than we need for. Then they are shipped overseas and transplanted up to 14 days after recovery. There is no real different outcomes with the later transplant times, but the FDA in the USA made the rules.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Did you know that scientists are able to recover some organs? What do you think about the idea of organ donation?

#Science #Society #health #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Darlene Davidson
For many, an organ transplant is life saving and life extending.
Jun 16, 2020 5:56PM
John McLardie
Of even more use would have been the 'harvesting' limits on the removal of organs, etc., from recently deceased individuals who had given donor consent. For example, in the UK I understand that the liver should be removed within 2 hours of certification of death.
Mar 5, 2020 3:35AM
I love the idea of people helping others they don’t know. I personally am donating my whole body. Good luck!😃
Feb 19, 2020 10:05PM
Marian Spitzig
My husband was placed on the transplant list. Went through all the testing. Maybe 8-8 months later, as our kids were getting ready to be tested, they called my husband and told him on the phone that they were removing him from the list. Needless to say, this was one very upset, disappointed family, who have now buried a father and husband.
Feb 3, 2020 5:44PM
Humberto Carrasco, yes. My gentleman friend had a double organ transplant. Kidney and Pancreas. Cured his trauma induced diabetes
Oct 17, 2019 4:39PM
Humberto Carrasco
Jul 8, 2019 11:56AM
Lynne Cage
Informative thnx
Jul 6, 2019 4:06AM
Ron Dichoso
The title is “shelf life of donated organs” yet the writer is not expert on organ transplant but not even more we’ll explain on corneas. On the other hand thank you for those organ donor- you help extended countless lives. Check:
Jul 1, 2019 10:35AM
Chriss Crockford
Thank goodness there are selfless people who donate their organs.
Jun 23, 2019 3:35PM
Terry Lee Hammel
Interesting info.
Jun 8, 2019 7:47PM
Linda Evers
My grandsons life was saved by a bone marrow transplant which was flown from Germany to the UK. I don't know how long it took but it was the most precious gift from a stranger.
Jun 6, 2019 5:58PM
Don Racette
Minerva Gomez Connelly EYE can hardly believe it!
May 26, 2019 5:36PM
Minerva Gomez Connelly
Very interesting...learning more info
May 23, 2019 11:13PM
jack patti go
I am an organ donor!
May 22, 2019 10:32PM
Gayle Rutledge Arnold
I knew it was within hours with most organs, but had no idea that you could hold parts of the eyes that long! You learn something new everyday, provided that you want to.
May 22, 2019 5:50PM

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