Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, or LOPA, is the federally designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) for the state of Louisiana.

Tissue donation begins with a decision to donate. A person registers as an organ, eye and tissue donor in the State of Louisiana by saying “YES” when getting their driver’s license or State ID, or by signing up on the Louisiana Donor Registry at www.donatelifela.org

A family discussion is strongly encouraged so that all family members, or next of kin, are aware of a person’s decision to donate.

Donors are Heroes. A donor is choosing to save and heal the lives of others when they die. For recipients, donated tissues such as skin, bone, heart valves, veins and tendons and ligaments can greatly improve the quality of their life.

The following is an outline of the basic steps in tissue donation after someone dies.

-Most people are potential candidates for tissue donation when they die. Recovery of tissue must be recovered within 24 hours of death.

-LOPA receives a referral from not only hospitals, but also coroners in our state. LOPA is provided with basic information about the potential donor, and evaluates the provided information to determine if tissue can be recovered.

-If the deceased person meets the criteria to be a tissue donor, the donor registry is searched. If the potential donor is in the donor registry, the donor’s next of kin is contacted for medical and social history. If the potential donor is not in the registry, next of kin is contacted so that the opportunity for donation can be discussed.

-LOPA recovers five tissues for donation, which are: skin, bone, heart valves, veins, tendons and ligaments. All have the potential to greatly improve many peoples’ lives. More than 50 people can be healed from one tissue donor.

-After recovery is completed, the donor is brought to a funeral home. The donor’s family can then proceed with memorial services of their choice; open casket funerals are possible.