NIDCD National Temporal Bone, Hearing and Balance Pathology Resource Registry

Donor Information and Enrollment

Becoming a Donor

The scientific study of your ears could be of great medical value whether or not you have any type of ear problem. The research that results from temporal bone donation has the potential to one day provide millions with the gift of hearing. Those who decide to donate their temporal bones may also consider donating the brain tissue related to hearing and balance to allow for even more research possibilities.

As of today, more than 4,000 people are registered as temporal bone donors. Learn how you could be one of those individuals:

How to Enroll

  1. Contact the Registry by:
  2. Return all completed forms to the address below and you will receive your wallet-size donor card stating you are a temporal bone donor.

        National Temporal Bone Registry

    243 Charles Street
    Boston, MA 02114
  3. The Registry keeps a computerized record of all donations. We will forward a copy of your pledge to one of our collaborating laboratories, which will eventually receive your temporal bones for study.
  4. Tell your family and doctors about your plans to donate. Your next of kin makes the final decision about donation, therefore, make certain they know of your wish to donate your temporal bones. Please be sure they understand that their cooperation is needed at time of death.

*Please keep the Registry informed of any change of address or change in your next of kin.

Registered Donors

Providing Your Medical Records

The scientific value of your temporal bone donation is greatly enhanced if it is accompanied by up-to-date medical records. Therefore, we encourage donors to send records of all hearing tests, balance tests, and ear surgery to the Registry. Researchers need your medical records to correlate and link your ear disorders to the changes they find in your donated temporal bones.

Collection of Temporal Bones

To ensure that your wish to donate your temporal bones is carried out, the Registry maintains a 24/7 nationwide network. Upon a donor’s death, the next of kin or healthcare provider notifies the Registry with a call to our toll-free hotline, 800-822-1327.

The Registry Coordinator will be notified and will make all of the arrangements for the temporal bone removal. No cost is incurred by the donor’s family or estate. The medical professionals who remove the temporal bones donate their time or are paid by the laboratory receiving the temporal bones. Removal of temporal bones (and brain) does not change the appearance of the head, face, or outer ear.

NIDCD