How Donation Works

The decision to register as an organ and tissue donor is to make the choice to share life. Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) works closely with Arizona’s hospitals to make the most of the gifts of organ and tissue donation, saving and healing lives throughout Arizona and across the United States.

Organ Donation
Each organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives through their selfless gifts. The heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, liver and intestines offer hope to those on the organ transplant waiting list. Donated organs restore health and extend life for those whose own organs are failing.

When an individual passes away in an Arizona hospital, the hospital contacts Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) to check whether the patient was a registered organ and tissue donor through the DonateLifeAZ Registry.

If the patient has made the choice during his or her lifetime to register as an organ and tissue donor, our team counsels and supports the donor’s family as we honor the donor’s decision to share life. If the patient has not made a decision, the patient’s family is invited to make the choice about donation on their loved one’s behalf.

After the patient or his or her family makes the decision to give the gift of life, our clinical staff consults with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and transplant hospitals to find matches on the national waiting list. When matches are found, organs are allocated based on need and proximity so that those who are in the most need nearby are able to receive a life-saving transplant from the generous donor.

To learn more about how donor organs are matched to potential recipients, click here.

Tissue Donation
Tissue and ocular donation is an incredible gift that saves, heals and gives sight to many people in the United States each year. From heart valves that repair congenital heart defects to ligaments that restore mobility and corneas that give the gift of sight, tissue and ocular donation offers hope and healing for many.

DNA’s tissue and ocular recovery teams perform the recovery and send the donated tissue to one of our partners who prepare the tissue for the life-saving or life-healing transplantation.

DNA is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) as a tissue recovery organization for transplantation and by the Eye Bank Association of America as an ocular recovery organization for transplantation.