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Organ and Tissue Donation and Recovery

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CE1012 | Contact Hours: 1


The purpose of this course is to provide health care professionals with information on organ and tissue donation and recovery. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Learn how organ and tissue donation works.
2. Identify the organs and tissues that can be donated.
3. Discuss the guidelines on organ and tissue donation.
4. Discuss the issues that public and health care workers face throughout the process of organ and tissue donation.
5. Identify the roles of nurses and other health care workers in organ and tissue donation.






Rachel Botkin, PT, MPT


All learners must complete the entire activity and complete the evaluation to receive contact hours.


This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91).

In addition to states that accept American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) courses, CE Leaders is an approved provider by the Florida Board of Nursing, and a registered provider with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, District of Columbia Board of Nursing, Georgia Board of Nursing, Kentucky Board of Nursing, New Mexico Board of Nursing, South Carolina Board of Nursing and West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (Provider # 50-33450).


No one with the ability to control content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.


Although there were some recorded attempts of bone transplant in the middle ages, organ donation started in 1869 when the first successful skin transplant was performed by the renowned Swiss surgeon Jacques-Louis Reverdin. His work paved the way for many more organ and tissue transplants (1).

Over 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list. 17 people die each day waiting for a transplant, while another person is added to the waiting list every 9 minutes. In 2021, over 40,000 transplants were performed (2). In New Jersey alone, 599 organs were transplanted including 322 kidneys, 151 livers, 57 hearts, 49 lungs and 20 pancreases. Also, over 42,000 eye and tissue donations enhanced the quality of life for those in need (3).

A total of 13,861 people became deceased organ donors nationwide in 2021, representing the eleventh consecutive record year for deceased donation and an increase of 10.1 percent over 2020. In May 2021, the weekly total of deceased donors exceeded 300 for the first time; in two subsequent weeks in June, the threshold of 300 donors also was surpassed (9).

Living donor transplants, which decreased significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased in 2021, but are still at lower totals than prior years. Some transplant programs have continued to limit living donor transplant procedures temporarily in areas particularly affected by large outbreaks of the virus. A total of 6,541 living donor transplants were performed in 2021, an increase of 14.2 percent over the 2020 total (9).

What is organ and tissue donation? How is it done? What organs and tissues can be donated? Who can donate and receive organs and tissues? What are the requirements in organ and tissue donation? How can you, as a health care professional, make the process run smoothly for both the donor and recipient of the organ or tissue?


1. Dillon K. How it all started: The history of donation. LifeCenter. Published August 30, 2017. Accessed March 22, 2022.

2. Organ donation statistics. Accessed March 22, 2022.

3. Submitted Content. Organ donation in New Jersey reaches record high in 2021. Published January 28, 2022. Accessed March 22, 2022.

4. Organ Donation and Transplantation. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed March 22, 2022.

5. What can be donated. Accessed March 22, 2022.

6. Accessed March 24, 2022.

7. Donation after life. Accessed March 24, 2022.

8. Donate organs while alive. Accessed March 24, 2022.

9. All-time records again set in 2021 for organ transplants, organ donation from deceased donors - OPTN. Accessed March 24, 2022.

10. Three types of living organ donation. American Transplant Foundation. Published August 20, 2018. Accessed March 28, 2022.

11. Lewis A, Koukoura A, Tsianos GI, Gargavanis AA, Nielsen AA, Vassiliadis E. Organ donation in the US and Europe: The supply vs demand imbalance. Transplant Rev (Orlando). 2021;35(2):100585. doi:10.1016/j.trre.2020.10058.

12. Anatomical gift act. Accessed April 3, 2022.

13. Santhi A. Organ donation and transplantation: Role of nurse. Accessed April 3, 2022.

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