Survey of cadaveric donors to a body donation program: 1978-1993.


Survey of cadaveric donors to a body donation program: 1978-1993.


Dluzen D E; Brammer C M; Bernard J C; Keyser M L


Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)




Body donation files from the Department of Anatomy at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine were reviewed from the 569 donors used in our program from 1978-1993. The data were entered into a computerized database to evaluate the characteristics of people who have contributed to the body donation program for cadaveric dissection. The purpose of this review was to reveal a profile of the people who have contributed to our program and enable us to identify any deficiencies or disproportionate representation of donors which can be used when targeting future applicants. Donors to our program were predominantly male (58%), although there was a clear trend for increasing numbers of females over the latter period of the program. Donors were almost exclusively white (98%) with an average age at death of 73 years (range 18-98 years). The combination cardiovascular (46%), cancer (27%), and pulmonary dysfunction (16%) accounted for nearly all deaths of our donors. Approximately half of the donors (49%) were married and they completed an average of 12.5 years of education. The typical donor bequested at, or near, the time of death. From these data we conclude that certain characteristics of our donors can be primarily attributable to the population base of our sample. Other characteristics, for example, gender, age at death of females, and educational level, show marked departures from population values and suggest some unique attributes of our donors. Bequests to our body donation program do not appear to represent a long-term plan, but rather a decision made just prior to death.


*Cadaver; 80 and over; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Anatomy/education; Education; Female; Humans; Male; Medical/standards; Middle Aged; Retrospective Studies; Tissue Donors/*statistics & numerical data


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Dluzen D E; Brammer C M; Bernard J C; Keyser M L, “Survey of cadaveric donors to a body donation program: 1978-1993.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed September 27, 2023,