LifeShare Carolinas is grateful for our hospital partners who play a key role in saving lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation. With your collaboration, we are able to support families through some of the most difficult times of their lives and help them honor their loved one’s wishes to give the gift of life.
This page provides a number of resources to guide you through the donation process, honor your patients who become donor heroes, become donation champions, and promote donation in your hospital.
Your Role in Saving Lives
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some processes may vary slightly from the normal. Please contact your assigned LifeShare Donation Liaison if you have any questions.
The donation process could not happen without a referral from our hospital partners. Please call 800.932.GIVE (4483) to refer a patient at any of the following times.
Call within ONE HOUR when:
- A patient meets ALL of LifeShare’s clinical triggers
- Patient suffers cardiac death
Call immediately if:
- Brain death testing is planned
- DNR or withdrawal of care is being discussed
- Family asks about donation
- Patient experiences significant clinical changes
LifeShare Carolinas will ask for some basic information in order to begin evaluating the patient’s medical suitability. If we have EMR access, we will review remotely. If we don’t have EMR access, LifeShare staff will call the unit and ask to speak with someone from the patient’s care team. If the patient is eligible for organ donation, LifeShare will continue to monitor the patient’s progress to optimize organ function and maintain the option of donation.
If the patient is eligible for donation, LifeShare staff will search for their name in the North Carolina Donor Registry and the National Donate Life Registry in preparation for the next step. If the patient is a registered donor, this will be disclosed to the family at the appropriate time. If the patient is not registered, LifeShare will offer the option of donation to the family at the appropriate time.
After a patient is declared brain dead or is determined to be a candidate for DCD (Donation after Cardiac Death), LifeShare will work with the hospital care team to determine the best time to discuss donation with the family. We will allow time and make sure the family is ready for the conversation before moving forward. During this discussion, our staff will discuss the donation process and next steps with the family and answer any questions they have. This conversation will take place in person if the patient is a potential organ donor. If they are a potential tissue and eye donor only, this conversation will take place over the phone. LifeShare will ask for the hospital’s assistance in connecting with the family while they are still in the hospital to have this conversation. LifeShare has bridging language available to help you with this discussion on our Education page.
Once a family has signed the appropriate forms and agreed to donation, LifeShare staff begins the allocation of organs. At this point, LifeShare staff will request your assistance with additional screenings. A nationwide database operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) generates a list of potential matching recipients. Our team contacts the transplant center for each patient with an organ offer. Once all organs have been placed with matching recipients, our team coordinates with the hospital, recovery teams, and the donor’s family to determine a time and schedule an operating room for the organ recovery. This process may take up to 48 hours.
LifeShare staff will work closely with hospital’s OR staff to coordinate all needs for an organ recovery. Different hospital staff will be needed based on the type of recovery (brain death or DCD). If family is going to be present for a DCD, LifeShare staff will coordinate this and be there to support the family. Tissue and eye recovery can be performed in the OR immediately following an organ recovery. If a patient is donating tissue and eye only, the patient may be transported to an off-site recovery space. That transportation is coordinated by LifeShare. After tissue and eye recovery are completed, our team will coordinate the transportation to the family’s selected funeral home.
Many hospitals choose to honor their patients who give the gift of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation. Some hospitals hold honor walks, some fly the Donate Life flag, and others create new and unique ways to pay tribute to their donors. LifeShare Carolinas supports our hospital partners who choose to implement these honors and we are always available to help as you create a policy or process.
These tributes help donor families feel supported by the hospital through the donation process, give hospital staff a way to express their care and compassion for the donor and family, and provide a great way for the hospital to share the positive impact of donation.
If you’re interested in creating a process for an honor walk or other tribute, you may find the resource guide below helpful.
A LifeShare donation champion acts as a change agent within the hospital by serving as a resource in real-time, assisting peers, working with all members of the care team and LifeShare staff, and advocating for donation with hospital leadership. The goal of the champion role is to improve the donation process through better collaboration between hospital and LifeShare. This can be used as a clinical ladder project.
If you are interested in becoming a donation champion, please contact your assigned LifeShare Hospital Donation Liaison and you can read more about the role of a donation champion using the button below.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Workplace Partnership for Life program is a national initiative aimed at raising awareness about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Hospitals of all sizes can join this life-saving program and help save lives by promoting donation. Since the campaign began in 2011, hospitals have added more than 492,000 donor registrations to state donor registries. The program provides tools and resources to help you find the best ways for your hospital to participate.
Haywood Regional Hospital
Carolinas Medical Center
Atrium Health Cabarrus
Atrium Health Pineville
CaroMont Regional Medical Center
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital
Harris Regional/Swain Community Hospital
LifeShare monitors compliance with regulatory standards and expectations. These dashboards are available using the link below.
If you would like access to your hospital’s data, please contact Mason Jackson, Hospital & Family Services Manager at Mason.Jackson@LifeShareCarolinas.org.
LifeShare Carolinas is committed to providing donation education for all hospital partners on organ, eye, and tissue donation. Whether you’re new to donation or an experienced partner just wanting to brush up on the basics or learn about a new topic, we have a number of resources available.
Our hospital donation liaisons are your direct connection to LifeShare Carolinas. Whether you have a question, want to request an education for your unit, need help preparing for a regulatory visit, or information on your hospital’s data, they are here to serve as your organ, eye, and tissue donation resource.