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P-52 Raising awareness of tissue donation within the hospice setting
  1. Gaynor Barlow
  1. East Lancashire Hospice, Lancashire, UK


What is tissue donation?Tissue Donation is the retrieval of tissues such as skin, bones and eyes.

Why tissue donation?There is less awareness around tissue donation and what can be donated. Tissue donation can take place many hours after the patient dies.

Tissue donation offers huge benefits to many people, relieving their pain, helping them to see, or walk again, or return to work. A tissue transplant can even save lives.

Donation of tissues can offer the opportunity for families to fulfil their loved one’s wishes; many bereaved families take comfort in the knowledge that their loved one has helped others in this way.

It is very important families are given the opportunity of donation at a time where everything else seems to have been taken out of their hands and they have no control. Donation is a positive act of giving in during an otherwise tragic situation. Families should feel able to say ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ (and this is perfectly ok)

Changes implemented

  • Discussed at clinical governance for approval

  • Changes made to demographic patient forms – question included ‘do you carry a donor card’. Patient is asked on admission. If answer yes then further discussion around tissue donation takes place and where possible discussion with relative to make them aware of patients wishes

  • Specialist Nurse delivered training around tissue donation, and referral process

  • Discussed how to approach tissue donation with patients/family incorporating common fears and misunderstandings.

  • Delivered training on tissue donation

  • Link Champions identified to support staff and access further training

  • Leaflets made available for patients/relatives and staff

  • Algorithm – added to EOLC policy

What happens now at the hospice?All patients and their families are offered the choice to donate tissues following death and that they ensure that patient’s end of life wishes are fulfilled where possible.

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