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Medical examiners and coroners

LifeGift works closely with medical examiners and coroners throughout our coverage area to ensure successful outcomes for organ and tissue donation. Coroners and medical examiners and their staff play an important role in the donation process. Because all unexpected deaths require coroner or medical examiner review, your cooperation and support is imperative for ensuring successful organ and tissue donations that change the lives of thousands of transplant recipients each year.

how it works

Referring to LifeGift

Tissue and eye donation are options for those who have not tested positive for HIV or hepatitis, and whose time of death or last seen known time is under 12 hours from the time of the referral call. When making a donor referral, please provide the following:

  • Deceased’s name, date of birth, height and weight
  • Time of death and/or last known alive time
  • Circumstances surrounding the death and EMS involvement
  • Past medical history, if available
  • Will there be an autopsy? If so, when and where?
  • Next-of-kin name and phone numbers
  • Funeral home

A LifeGift representative will approach the family about donation and will coordinate the recovery with the pathologist and the funeral home. We hope the resources below will be of help as you support the donor family’s wishes. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 1-800-633-6562.


We provide several resource documents and reports following donation to help you successfully complete your work when organs and tissues are being donated.

  • Organ recovery report: with every organ donor we provide a post-operative organ recovery report. The post-operative organ recovery report is a detailed account of the organs recovered, surgical notes from recovery and plans for tissue and eye recovery options. We collect this high level of detail to ensure the health of the organs and tissues recovered for transplant and to assist you in your investigation.
  • Tissue donation info report: with every tissue donor where autopsy will follow recovery, we provide a pre-autopsy tissue donor information form. This important form provides documentation of injury, detailed heart recovery information and a copy of the donor’s physical assessment.
  • Photos: in addition to these reports, we also provide pre-recovery photos for both organ and tissue donors, blood samples for toxicology and a cardiac pathology report when the heart is recovered for valves. The donor’s detailed medical and social history can also be made available to you upon request to enhance your investigation.