Birth Tissue

The tissue of the placenta and umbilical cord are full of special cells that stimulate healing, reduce pain, and speed up the recovery process for various medical needs, including but not limited to:

Difficult-to-Heal Wounds

• Burn victims

• Spinal Surgeries

• Ophthalmic & Dental procedures

• Sports Injuries

Areas of medicine currently using the regenerative medicine and therapies of placental tissue derived grafts include:

Orthopedics

Wound Care

Spine Medicine

Urology

General Surgery

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Opthalmology

Dental

Plastic Surgery

Benefits

  • Anti-microbial: Lowers the number of bacteria that can cause infections in the healing area.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Reduction of inflammation or swelling, in turn decreasing the pain felt in the healing transplanted area.
  • Anti-scarring: Less visible scar tissue creation and scarring in comparison to the transplant of tissue grafts from other sources.
  • Anti-adhesion: Used as a barrier during internal surgery, placental tissues reduce internal scarring, or adhesions.
  • Anti-immunogenic: Placental tissues lack antigens that would typically cause a recipient’s immune system to react and attack the transplanted tissue making rejection of these grafts rare.

Facts

  • Birth tissue grafts used as wound coverings or internal barriers can range in size from 15mm to 6cm x 8cm.
  • The amniotic membrane of the placenta is very thin and similar to the surface of the eye, allowing it to be used as a healing bandage in ophthalmic treatment when the surface of the eye has been injured.
  • Birth tissues used as injectable grafts release healing growth factors and other cells to signal the recipient's body to repair the injured area through regeneration, while managing inflammation and pain.

Birth Tissue Donation Process

Step 1: Referral
Referrals are made directly by OBGYN offices prior to a scheduled c-section. When an expectant mother expresses interest in placental donation, her name and phone number are shared with a Birth Tissue Donation Coordinator at Nevada Donor Network.
Step 2: Consent
A Birth Tissue Donation Coordinator reaches out to the expectant mom by phone to provide more information about the ways in which the placenta and umbilical cord can benefit others, describes the process, and answers any questions she may have. When mom decides donation is the right choice for her and her baby, a consent form is completed over the phone giving permission for birth tissues to be donated at the time of delivery.
Step 3: Evaluation
The completed consent form gives Nevada Donor Network permission to review the expectant mom’s medical record. This evaluation helps to ensure the safety of donated tissues and is strictly confidential. All information obtained during the donation process is kept confidential in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
Step 4: Medical & Social History Interview
Within 2 weeks of the scheduled c-section, a Birth Tissue Donation Coordinator calls mom to conduct a medical and social history interview, including questions similar to those asked when someone donates blood. This questionnaire helps to determine the safety and potential uses of donated tissue.
Step 5: Blood Draw
In most cases, the blood draw will take place at the same time as the hospital admission blood draw. An expectant mom’s blood is tested for things that could be transmitted to recipients through transplantation of donated tissues. Infectious disease testing is required by law whenever human tissue is used for transplantation.
Step 6: Tissue Acquisition
A tissue acquisition technician from Nevada Donor Network will be present at the hospital during the c-section. Following the safe delivery of the baby, the physician delivers the placenta and umbilical cord in the same way he/she does in every delivery. These donated tissues are then packaged by the tissue acquisition technician.
Step 7: Graft Creation
Transportation of donated tissues to tissue processing agencies is coordinated by Nevada Donor Network. Tissue processors are responsible for testing and preserving the donated tissues to create grafts used to help heal those in need through therapeutic medicine. If donated tissues are not able to be used for transplantation, processors may use tissue for research and education purposes to aid in the advancement of regenerative medicine.

Birth Tissue FAQ's

Who can donate birth tissue?
Expectant moms with a planned c-section can donate birth tissue. Yes, moms have the opportunity to donate with each and every planned c-section!
Can I still bank my cord blood?
Donating birth tissue (placenta and umbilical cord) does not interfere with the cord blood banking process. If you have arranged cord blood banking, the cord blood will be recovered in the operating room before the umbilical cord is packaged for tissue donation.
Are there costs related to the donation of my birth tissue?

There is no cost to you! Birth tissue is typically discarded after delivery.

What happens if my placenta is needed for testing?
In the event your physician feels it is necessary to send your placenta for testing, your placenta will remain at the hospital and donation will not take place. Birth tissue donation will not impact the medical care you or your baby receive. The health of you and your baby are of the utmost importance.
Why is a medical and social history interview necessary?
A medical and social history questionnaire is a regulatory requirement for all donated human tissue in the United States. The information obtained during this interview is used to ensure the safety of all donated tissues used for transplantation.
What is done with my personal medical information?
Your information is always kept confidential and will only be shared with authorized parties responsible for the acquisition and processing of your donated tissues.
What is my blood sample tested for?
Your blood is tested for several infections that can transmit disease through transplantation, like HIV, Hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases. Positive results will be shared with your physician.
Are there risks associated with birth tissue donation?
There are no side effects or risks associated with your decision to donate birth tissue. Your medical treatment will not be impacted by the decision to donate and your physician will not be asked to change or adapt his/her procedure for the purpose of donation.
Why is a tissue acquisition technician present at the time of my c-section?
A tissue acquisition technician must be on hand during the delivery to insure sterile packaging and transportation of the tissue you have graciously donated. We want your physician and the hospital staff to focus on the medical care of you and your new baby!
Will I be paid or compensated for donating my birth tissue?
The National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) makes it illegal to sell human organs and tissues in the United States. One reason Congress passed this law was to ensure wealthy individuals do not have an unfair access to donated organs and tissues. Birth tissue donation is a voluntary decision giving you and your baby the opportunity to be heroes to people in need of a healing graft!
Will I receive any form of contact or follow-up after my donation?
Approximately one month after the delivery of your newborn, you will receive a package in the mail thanking you for your gracious donation. We will also send you a request to complete a quick online survey to tell us about your experience to help us to continue improving our process.
What if I have more questions?
Whether you are considering donation, preparing to donate, or have already provided the gift of healing through donation, we at Nevada Donor Network do not want to leave you with any unanswered questions. You can reach a Birth Tissue Donation Coordinator at 855-NVDONOR or mom@nvdonor.org.