Frequently Asked Questions

What is a living donor program?

A living donor program enables members of the public undergoing scheduled surgery, such as a primary hip replacement or a planned C- section, the opportunity to make a difference to others.

Tissue, bone or placenta that would normally be discarded during the operation is able to be collected and used to make Allografts. These Allografts are used for patients undergoing many types of surgery, as well as providing grafts for wound care and many chronic conditions.

Being a living donor is a great way to learn about donation and discuss your future wishes and options with your family.

The staff at ATDN are happy to answer any questions, please feel free to give us a call.

What happens to Femoral Head bone once it’s collected?

Once the Femoral Head is collected in theatre, it is sent to a freezer storage facility, where it is inspected, quarantined, tested and stored until all routine test results are returned as satisfactory. When it is deemed acceptable to process, it is cleaned, milled and sterilised and made into bone graft products, which are transplanted in recipients.

What is tissue?

Tissue is collection of cells that function together for the same purpose.

The human body is made up of many types of cells that build the tissue that become our organs, connective tissue, bones and skin.

Hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers as well as the pancreas are all tissues that are known as organs and many people are aware that these may all be donated.

Other Tissues that can be donated but are not as well-known are, skin, bone, ligaments, tendons, eyes, placentas, cardiac valves and blood vessels. Unlike organ donation, these tissues are often not donated to one specific person but can be donated in both the living and deceased capacity to many people.

These Tissues can be processed and stored to help many people suffering from many types of ailments from cancer to Second Degree burns.

A single donation of Tissue can help up to 100 recipients.

What is an allograft?

An allograft, put simply, is a piece of tissue that is transplanted from one person to another.

All allografts go through some form of processing to ensure that they are safe and will provide the maximum benefit for the recipient. These processes can vary from a simple clean to highly scientific processes that remove all residual lipids and result in new bone formation at the surgical site.

Other advantages in the use of allografts are the reduced surgical time, decreased pain and risk of infection from autologous (your own body) donor sites, as well as superior healing time and inflammatory responses.

There is no need for type matching or anti-rejection medications with tissue allografts, as they are a cellular and the body accepts them as its own.

How safe is the manufactured bone grafts?

Like donating blood, all potential donors are screened for diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Syphilis etc. Blood for serology screening is taken while the patient is in surgery, making it non-invasive. In some instances, repeat testing may be required up to 6 months post-surgery. This is all performed at no cost to the donor.

All tissue donated remains in quarantine until the results of any tests performed return as satisfactory.

What type of people need allografts?

Some surgeries require the implantation of bone to aid with anchoring any screws and plates, promote healing and greatly increase the success of some procedures.

Donated bone can be crafted into many important allograft products.

The use of allograft material is ideal when the use of a patient’s own bone is complicated and involves an extra surgery. The use of donated allograft material eliminates the need for a recipient to undergo extra or unnecessary surgery to retrieve more bone from other sites for grafting purposes. The use of donated allograft eliminates unnecessary anaesthesia, additional pain, loss of mobility, infection, and risk of other complications in the secondary site.

A broad range of people suffering from different yet debilitating and serious conditions regularly receive and benefit from allograft products made from donated bone:

  • Patients with spinal injuries
  • Patients with spinal deformities
  • Children and adults with bone cancers
  • Patients with “non-healing” fractures
  • Orthopaedic patients
  • Patients with bony voids
  • Dental patients
  • Sports related injuries