Legacy of Life

Organ and tissue donation are a vital part of high-quality end-of-life care and all health care professionals have an integral role in this process.


Tissue donation provides one donor the opportunity to improve the quality of life for up to 75 recipients. More than 40,000 tissues are transplanted in Canada annually and close to 80% of these tissues are imported from the United States.

Nova Scotia’s Regional Tissue Bank provides patients with the option for tissue donation as part of quality end-of-life care. Corneas, bone, tendons, skin and heart valves are all possible sources of tissue donation. These tissues can be recovered up to 24 hours after the time of death.  

All potential tissue donors MUST be referred to Nova Scotia’s Regional Tissue Bank. Referral to the tissue bank can occur after the death of the patient, but should be made as soon as possible.

To make a referral or get additional information, please call 902-473-2222 and ask for the Tissue Bank Specialist on call.

Instructions for Tissue Donation Referral

Please review the following contraindications that may impact the safety of tissues for transplant.

If the answer is 'yes' to any of the below, do not make a referral to the Tissue Bank Specialist. Notify the patient or SDM of the reason for non-referral. (Medical Examiner cases and/or hospital autopsy does not preclude donation.)

  • Age 71 or greater
  • Weight less than 2.7 kilograms or greater than 136 kilograms
  • Current lab-diagnosed infections (e.g. MRSA, VRE or C. difficile)
  • History of blood cancers (e.g. Lymphoma, Leukemia, Myeloma) or Malignant Melanoma
  • Diagnosed Neurological disease of unknown etiology (e.g. ALS, MS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's)
  • HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HTLV I/II, active TB