A Working Partnership
Live On Nebraska is committed to working with medical examiners and coroners to ensure 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 Live On Nebraska and provide patient information for evaluation of possible tissue donation.
To make a referral for donation, please call 402-733-4000.
When making a referral, you will be asked for the following information:
- Deceased’s name
- Date of birth
- Approximate weight
- Date/time last known alive
- Circumstances of death/injuries
- Suspected high-risk behaviors
- Next of kin name and contact number
- Location of body
- Mortuary information
- Whether an autopsy has been ordered
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 or family’s wishes.
The Case of 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.
- SWGMDI’s Standards for Interactions Between Coroner Offices and Organ and Tissue Procurement Organizations and Eye Banks
- National Association of Medical Examiners Position Paper: Medical Examiner Release of Organs and Tissues for Transplantation
In all donation opportunities involving the county coroner, Live On Nebraska 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. Live On Nebraska 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.