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A patient's own tissue - an autograft - can often be used for a surgical reconstruction procedure. Allograft tissue, taken from another person, takes longer to incorporate into the recpient’s body .
When a hospital patient dies and the expired patient meets tissue-donor criteria, the family may be asked if it is interested in tissue donation.
Once tissues are received, the processing organization stores the tissues in temperature controlled sub-zero freezers while donor medical history and the results of cultures and blood tests are reviewed.
The American Association of Tissue Bank and Joint Commission Accredited Hospital Organization require that all human tissues must be able to be tracked from donor to recipient.
Human tissues do not have to be used immediately. They can be stored for a period of time until they are needed.
The chart below lists some of the types of reconstructive surgeries such as orthopedic, neurologic, cardiovascular, spinal, ophthalmologic, and sports medicine that might utilize human tissue. The chart also includes tissue grafts normally used for these surgeries: