Organ donation is only possible in certain circumstances of death . In fact, it is about deaths occurring in the hospital, in intensive care, following in particular to head traumatisms or to cerebrovascular accidents. The heartbeat is maintained through resuscitation techniques. The patient is in a state of brain death.
Organ harvesting is therefore quite rare, and sampling possibilities are very valuable. Indeed, brain death accounts for less than 1% of hospital deaths.
However, it represents 95% of transplants performed in France (the remaining 5% representing donations of living people).
To alleviate this ever-growing need for organs, a few years ago the conditions for organ harvesting were expanded, in particular thanks to the 2011 bioethics law.
There is no age limit for donation. Everyone can get their donor card, teenagers as retirees. For minors, permission from parents or legal guardian is required.
All ages are therefore concerned, although it is in principle quite rare that a heart is taken after 60 years. In contrast, the liver and kidney can be.
At the time of collection, examinations are carried out to ensure the absence of communicable diseases, to know the HLA tissue group (and analyze the compatibility with the recipient), etc.