Medical procedures and tests

Routine medical procedures and tests will be carried out shortly before or after the death of a donor to ensure that transplantation is likely to be safe, successful and a suitable match for somebody on the transplant waiting list.

The procedures and tests

The following procedures and tests are all routine medical procedures in a hospital intensive care unit setting and are carried out by highly skilled health professionals in NHS Scotland with the greatest care and respect, as is the case for any medical procedure.

These procedures and tests, and the information they provide for diagnostic purposes, have been carried out in the UK to facilitate donation and transplantation since 2003. Without these procedures and tests taking place, donation won’t be able to proceed.

This means that:

  • If a person registers to be a donor, they will be authorising these procedures to be carried out
  • If a person hasn’t registered an opt out decision and donation is deemed, it will be assumed that the person is willing for these routine procedures and tests to be carried out

Specialist nurses will always speak to family and friends to check that a person who may become a donor would not have been unwilling for these procedures and tests to happen.