Funeral Home Staff
As caretakers for the deceased and their loved ones, we understand your priority is carrying out arrangements and ensuring that end-of-life wishes and services happen as seamlessly as possible. At Nebraska Organ Recovery, it is our goal to interfere with that process as little as possible and to honor the desires of registered donors while providing hope and healing to familes who have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one.
In the event of an out-of-hospital-death, funeral home staff are encouraged to contact NORS to evaluate for 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.
We recognize that donation has an impact on the funeral preparation process and your duties as funeral professionals. We also know there is immense value in the gift of donation, not only for the recipients, but also for donor families. This value is recognized by the funeral industry as well.
The National Funeral Directors Association supports donation and in cooperation with the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) has established guidelines for funeral home staff and recovery organizations to follow in order to ensure the needs of all parties are met:
"The recovery organization and the funeral professional have an obligation to communicate to, cooperate with and educate each other in order to best serve the needs of both organizations and the donor family."
- From Best Practices for Organ and Tissue Donation, developed by NFDA, AATB and AOPO
Based on these guidelines, and out of respect for you and the service you provide to donor families, we promise to:
- contact the family of the potential donor as soon as possible. We will also notify you and develop a communication plan for the donation process.
- inform the donor's family of all organs, tissues and eyes that will be recovered, as well as discuss the impact to the donor's appearance and timing of funeral arrangements.
- respect and accommodate the religious and ethnic practices of the donor family.
- work with you to determine the exact recovery process to be planned based on the funeral arrangements.
- not pass any costs related to the donation onto the donor's family. We will also reimburse you for time and materials related to donation.
You may find the following frequently-used resources helpful when participating in a donation case.
Donation Guide for Funeral Homes
This guide will provide insight into the donation process, how to care for donor families and give guidance on preparation of the donor's body following donation.
Funeral Home Reimbursement Form
This form may be completed and returned to Nebraska Organ Recovery for reimbursement of any donation-related services provided for organ or tissue donors cared for by your funeral home.
We're Here to Help
Our Professional Outreach Specialist is available to assist with case communications and address any questions or concerns regarding the donation process. Please feel free to reach out to Kraig any time for help.
Kraig Markland DC, CTBS
Professional Outreach Specialist