Unyts is now ConnectLife!

In the most uncomplicated terms, ConnectLife helps people help others. As Western New York’s only community blood center and federally designated organ, eye, and tissue procurement agency, ConnectLife saves and enhances lives through the support and compassion of donors who graciously choose to give the gift of life. 

All of the blood that ConnectLife collects stays local, helping nearly every hospital in Western New York’s eight counties maintain safe inventory levels while saving them millions of dollars in out-of-state sourcing costs. And for every pint of blood donated, we save the lives of three of our neighbors. 

At its core, ConnectLife was created to serve—making the blood donation process as personal and painless as possible; helping organ, eye, and tissue donor families honor the wishes of their loved ones during an emotional time; working with schools to equip the next generation of donors with the knowledge they need to make lifesaving decisions; and supporting Western New Yorkers’ inherent desire to do good. 

Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact Director of Marketing & Community Development, Sarah R. Diina at sdiina@connectlife.org or 716.529.4351.

Donation Terminology

Certain terms and phrases, when used in the context of donation and transplantation, may be inaccurate or unintentionally hurtful to the families of organ, eye and tissue donors. Even professionals may mistakenly use outdated terminology.

Inappropriate Term

Appropriate Term

“harvesting” of organs

“recovery” or “donation” of organs

“declare brain death”

“determine brain death”

“life” support

“mechanical” or “ventilator” support

“body parts”

“donated organs and tissues” 

“cadaveric” donation

“deceased” donation  

“cadaver” (when used in a donation context)

“deceased donor”       

The Donor Family Council of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations has approved the terminology above. The language is also supported by the American Society of Transplantation and American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Brain Death

The terms “brain death” and “brain dead” are sometimes misused or misunderstood. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) explains that brain death is “Irreversible cessation of cerebral and brain stem function; characterized by absence of electrical activity in the brain, blood flow to the brain, and brain function as determined by clinical assessment of responses. A brain dead person is dead, although his or her cardiopulmonary functioning may be artificially maintained for some time.”

Hospitals have written policies specifying the process of determining brain death, which include examinations and tests by medical professionals. Brain death is death, both legally and medically. Thus, a person who is brain dead should not be said to be on “life support,” but instead on “mechanical support” or “ventilator support.”

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