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Q&A: The details on donating a body to science

Details on body donation

I have know for a long time what I wish regarding my remains. The recent article on funerals has prompted this question. When I die I want all usable body parts to be donated to those who may need them. After that, I would like my body to be donated to University of South Florida School of Medicine to be used in any way for teaching purposes. Is it possible to donate my body, and how would I arrange this?

Times staff writer Alexandra Zayas recently wrote a story about a ceremony in which USF medical students honored the people who donated their bodies for medical students to study.

Included with the story was a Q&A that answers your questions. We'll repeat it in full:

Who can donate a body?

Anyone 18 or older. Bodies cannot be donated if an autopsy has been performed, death was caused by a crushing injury or the individual had sepsis, extreme obesity or a highly contagious disease.

Can someone will remains to a particular school?

The anatomical board says it does its best to honor requests.

Who pays?

The anatomical board, which receives no financial support from the state, requires the family to pay for the body's embalming and delivery to one of three receiving facilities, in Gainesville, Orlando and Miami. To help offset the cost, there is a "donor assistance fund," which allows for reimbursement of up to $650 of funeral home costs incurred during donation.

What happens when the research is concluded?

The bodies are cremated. Survivors can request to retrieve the ashes. Unclaimed ashes are spread over the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information about anatomical donation, including the necessary forms, visit med.ufl.edu/anatbd or call the anatomical board toll-free at 1-800-628-2594.

You can read the full story at www.tampabay.com/news/health/research/article1226794.ece.

Lung transplant limitations

Can you tell me why there is an age limit on lung transplants?

There isn't a set age limit for lung transplants, according to doctors, as long as older patients are healthy. Doctors at the University of Virginia Health System found in a 2006 study that patients over 60 weren't at a higher risk because they "have the same survival rate, have the same length of hospitalization and the same rate of complications" as younger patients, one of the doctors told WebMD.

Cedars-Sinai recommends an age of 65 for single lung transplantation, 55 for double lung transplants and 45 for heart-lung transplantation. The University Transplant Center in San Antonio, Texas, suggests an age of 70 for single lung and 65 for double lung transplantation.

Q&A: The details on donating a body to science 05/14/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 14, 2012 5:58pm]

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