Nebraska Organ Recovery is committed to working with medical examiners and coroners to ensure that patient wishes can be recognized without compromising the integrity of legal investigations. Medical examiners and coroners may also play a role in the referral of potential donation candidates.
In the event of an out-of-hospital-death, medical examiner or coroner staff are encouraged to contact NORS and provide patient information for evaluation of possible tissue donation.
To make a referral for donation, please call 402-932-1377.
When making a referral, you will be asked for the following information:
- Deceased's name
- Date of birth
- Time of death/last known alive
- Next of kin name
- Next of kin contact number
The recovery of donated tissue needs to occur within 12 to 24 hours of death (depending on cooling of the body) and prior to embalming. Ideally, the referral will be made as early as possible to ensure that no logistical concerns stand in the way of the individual's or family wishes.
The Case for Collaboration
Recognizing the importance of organ and tissue donation, the Scientific Working Group for Medicolegal Death Investigation (SWGMDI) and the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) have issued guidelines for collaboration with organ and tissue procurement organizations.
In all donation opportunities involving the county coroner, NORS staff will work directly with the county coroner to assess donation and autopsy requirements. The county attorney/coroner, law enforcement and/or pathologist can be present during the recovery of organs for personal observation and evidence. Nebraska Organ Recovery can also provide items that may be of assistance to investigations if available and as requested. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Brain death note(s)
- Medical social history
- Prior medical records
- Paramedic run-sheet
- Hospital admission blood
- Communicable disease serology panel results
- Toxicology panel results
- X-rays with report
- CT scans with report
- Echocardiogram/EKG with report
- Bronchoscopy with report
- Photography during organ recovery
- Photography during tissue recovery
- Blood samples prior to organ/tissue recovery
- Histology reports (if done) from recovered organs
- Vitreous fluid (from Lions Eye Bank of Nebraska or Iowa Lions Eye Bank)
The Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) provides guidelines for the medical examiner or coroner in dealing with a candidate for organ, tissue, or eye donation in section 23-1827 thru 23-1832 of the state statute.
“…it is in the public interest to facilitate organ and tissue donations pursuant to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act…within a time period compatible with the preservation of such organ or tissue for the purpose of transplantation.”
- Nebraska Revised Statute 23-1825
We're Here to Help
Our Professional Outreach Specialist is available to assist with case communications and specific case specimen collections. Please feel free to reach out to Kraig any time for help.
Kraig Markland DC, CTBS
Professional Outreach Specialist