Tissue: Non-Profit verses For-Profit
ARORA is a non-profit organization. At ARORA we carefully consider relationships with all of our partners. All of the tissue that is donated and recovered by ARORA is sent to FDA registered tissue processors that use FDA approved techniques for processing, storing and distribution of the tissue. ARORA has four tissue processing partners of which two are non-profit and two are for-profit companies.
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) is ARORA’s primary partner in the processing of donor bone, tendons and skin for transplant. MTF is a non-profit foundation and they offer first priority to our local hospitals and surgeons with patients needing tissue transplants. ARORA also works with two other musculoskeletal processors. These processors are Community Tissue Services (CTS) and Bone Bank Allograft (BBA). They are non-profit and for-profit companies respectively. Both use the bone to make different types of products and grafts used for specific transplant purposes. All of the donated tissues undergo various sterilization processes to ensure the safety of the tissue transplant recipients.
All of our cardiovascular tissue is processed by Cryolife which is a for-profit processor. A large percentage of the vascular tissues recovered by ARORA are heart valves. The vast majority of these grafts are used at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in children and adolescents. Local surgeons prefer transplanting the Cryolife tissues because they feel the patients receiving these grafts have better short and long-term outcomes. Cryolife gives our Arkansas patients priority status when it comes to the transplantation of tissues donated by Arkansans.
Corneas are the only tissues that are both recovered and processed in Arkansas. Corneas are recovered by the Arkansas Lions Eye Bank located in the Jones Eye Institute at UAMS. ARORA’s only role in this recovery is in completing the necessary paperwork. The Arkansas Lions Eye Bank is a non-profit organization supplying corneas and other ocular tissue for transplant to local surgeons.