Watch ‘The Human Tissue Squad’ on BBC 3 on 8th September at 9pm

September 8, 2014   //   No Comments

Meet the young men and women who retrieve skin and bone from deceased donors for a living

The Human Tissue Squad is a fascinating, two-part documentary with unprecedented access to the tissue donation team and staff at NHS Blood and Transplant’s national human tissue bank in Liverpool. Offering a revealing insight into life at the UK’s only centre of its kind, this series shows the physical and emotional challenges facing the team in its crucial work providing donated human tissue to patients within the NHS.

Relying on the generosity of donors’ families, the team is able to provide heart valves, skin, tendons, bone and other tissues to repair or rebuild the bodies of thousands of people severely injured or affected by disease every year. The mini-series also meets some of the young people whose lives have been transformed by these transplants and the pioneering surgeons who make the best use of the very special materials entrusted to them.

Episode two follows 18-year-old Reuben, who needs a life-changing operation on a tumour in his knee – he is desperate to get back into the world of work and resume a normal life. 27-year-old rugby coach Daniel once cherished a dream to become a professional rugby player, but after taking a nasty tackle to his knee he was left with a torn meniscus that has left him in constant pain. Can the tissue bank team find a donor of the right size and shape?

Only around 5,000 people die in the UK each year in circumstances where they can donate their organs. Families are more likely to agree to donation when they know what their loved one wanted. Almost anyone can be considered as a tissue donor, so people are more likely to become a tissue donor than an organ donor. Donated tissue such as skin, bones and eyes can save or dramatically improve the lives of many people suffering from illness or injury.

Find out more about the Organ Donation Register.