Nebraska Organ Recovery System realizes the importance of the work performed by emergency responders in medical emergencies. Many times, despite the best efforts of those involved, the situation ends in the death of a patient prior to arrival at an advanced care facility. In those instances, as well as other instances involved a critically injured patient, emergency responders can play a big role in the organ and tissue donation process.
In the event that a patient expires prior to arrival at a hospital, emergency responders are encouraged to contact Nebraska Organ Recovery System and provide patient information for evaluation of possible tissue donation. A brief screening will occur to gather demographic information and any additional medical information. If eligible, the family of the deceased will be contacted and will be explained their options regarding donation. It is useful to provide the coordinator all information known about the patient to best assess donation potential. Age and medical condition do play a factor into assessing eligibility, but these standards change often and many patients may be eligible. The recovery of donated tissue needs to occur within 12 hours of a patient death and prior to the embalming at the funeral home. Ideally, the referral will be made as early as possible to ensure that no logistical concerns stand in the way of the patient or family wishes.
To make a referral for organ, tissue, or eye donation, please call (800) 925-0215.
Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA)
The Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) defines the requirements of an emergency responder in dealing with a candidate for organ, tissue, or eye donation in section 71-4835 of the state statute (www.nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=71-4835).
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows for the reporting of patient information for the purposes of donation under section §164.512 (h) (www.hippa.com/legislation/45CFR-164.512.html).
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NORS is available to speak with any interested emergency responder groups.
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