How We Help - Fifty Lives

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Each year, donated organs, like hearts and kidneys, save thousands of lives, but did you know that donated tissue like skin, bone and heart valves can dramatically improve the quality of life for others. More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year giving hope for a restored life.

Through this interactive experience, you will learn how sports injuries, severe burns and even heart patients are transformed through the gift of tissue donation.


Skin grafts are typically used to treat patients with severe burns. The skin graft serves as a temporary cover, which decreases pain, lowers the risk of infection and controls fluid loss while the patient's own skin heals. Community Tissue Services is one of the largest non-profit providers of skin grafts to surgeons for severe burn patients in the United States.

Burns require surgery to replace damaged skin with healthy skin, a process known as grafting. If these wounds are not treated, the body attempts to close them by forming scar tissue that contracts over time, leading to disfigurement and loss of motion in nearby joints.
Healing Wounded Warriors
Community Tissue Services provides life-saving skin grafts to major burn centers across the United States. The skin grafts we provide support military personnel, children and people with severe burns.
Transplanted tissue offers patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives.
Skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects our internal organs and tissues from toxins, disease-carrying bacteria and viruses, bumps and bruises, and extreme heat and cold.
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Corneas are the transparent tissue of the eye that cover the iris and pupil which helps the eye focus as light makes its way through.

People whose corneas have been injured by disease, infection or trauma can have their sight restored by corneal replacement.
There are more than 50,000 cornea transplants performed in the United States each year.

It has been estimated that up to 10 million people in the world suffer corneal blindness.
The need for corneas
Only 100,000 corneal transplants are performed each year worldwide due to the lack of access to donor tissue, which has been described as an international crisis in public health.
Corneal blindness may be caused by accidents or diseases damaging the front of the eye. When the rest of the eye functions fully, the cornea is the only part of the eye needed to restore sight.
The most common type of Cornea Transplant is the EK procedure also known as DSEK or DSAEK.

Patients without other eye problems usually achieve average vision of 20/30 or better within a couple of months.
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Heart Valves

Heart valves can be lifesaving to children born with absent or damaged heart valves and to adults with life-threatening cardiac defects and damage.
Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with congenital heart defects.
More than 1 million adults in the U.S. are living with congenital heart defects.
90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting 8 out of every 1,000 newborns.
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Saphenous &
Femoral Veins

are used for vascular disease surgeries, such as a heart by-pass surgery.
Vein and artery grafts re-establish blood circulation in patients with coronary artery disease.
Femoral veins are used for shunts in dialysis patients.
For those who have lost circulation in their legs, donated veins can help to avoid leg amputation.
Vein and artery grafts re-establish blood circulation in patients with coronary artery disease.
Femoral veins are used for shunts in dialysis patients.

Ligaments & Tendons

Ligaments and tendons are most commonly used to repair athletic related injuries, such as knee and joint injuries.
Tendon injuries are usually the result of many tiny tears to the tendon that have happened over time or through a traumatic event or injury.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments.
Ligaments are strong, elastic bands of tissue that hold bones together in the joints.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is located in the center of the knee. It limits rotation and the forward movement of the tibia, or shin bone. The ACL is most often stretched or torn by a sudden twisting. The ACL can be replaced with various tendons and ligaments such as a tibialis tendon, Achilles tendon, or patellar ligament.
Tendons are fibrous connective tissues which attach muscle to bone.

Achilles Tendon grafts can be used in cruciate ligament repair, rotator cuff tendon repair or Achilles tendon repair.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a commonly injured among athletes and sometimes requires surgery.
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Bone Grafts are used by surgeons to repair or replace bone after serious injury, bone cancer or crippling disease.

They are used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, such as spine surgery, joint reconstruction, and treatment of trauma.
Dental Implant Surgery
Another common use for bone grafts is for dental implant surgery where powdered bone is used as a packing material in a surgical area.
Bone grafts are used in spinal surgery such as cervical fusion and treatment of scoliosis.
As native bone grows, it will generally replace the graft material completely, resulting in a fully integrated region of new bone.
Transplanted tissue offers patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives.
Large bone grafts can be used in cancer surgery to save limbs.
Bone grafts provide the foundation and environment to allow the body to grow new bone.
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