Dayton organ and tissue donation bank starts to collect birth tissue

A worker with the Community Tissue Service Birth Tissue Program processes donations. CONTRIBUTED

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A worker with the Community Tissue Service Birth Tissue Program processes donations. CONTRIBUTED

Community Tissue Services is starting a new business line, collecting donated placenta and other birth tissue.

Birth tissue donation is growing nationally, and can be used for important treatments like wound dressings and surgical grafts.

“The tissues have been found to have properties that really help expedite the healing process such as reducing scarring, and it’s been found that it can really help with burns, diabetic ulcers, and those hard to heal wounds,” said Birth Tissue Program Manager Lindsey West.

Generally after giving birth, the placenta, amniotic fluid, and umbilical cord are discarded as medical waste.

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West said parents can still do cord blood banking with another organization and donate their umbilical cord and placenta.

While the center has a long history of tissue donation, this program has a unique aspect compared to other donations.

“The typical donation that we’ve dealt with before it’s been after someone has died. And the unique thing about this is someone is alive and are able to share that gift with others,” said Reg Dawson, vice president of recovery services at the center.

Community Tissue Services’ program is in the beginning stages, and they are working on building up awareness among patients and OB/GYN’s.

Community Tissue Services has had its eye on birth tissue donation for a while, according to Dawson.

“Birth tissue is huge,” Dawson said.

Organ and tissue donors — in this case the patient giving birth — legally cannot be compensated for their donation. But birth tissue has been gaining value in the market in recent years amid the development of more products and therapies. In one estimate, Biotech company AmnioChor in 2019 stated it conservatively ballparked the value of placenta’s second life at $50,000 and noted that the value is set to increase over the years.

Community Tissue Services is looking at collecting, processing and distributing the issue themselves and the tissue will be ordered by hospitals and medical facilities.

Their first collections have been authorized under research. They will be processed and provided for distribution once validation of the processing stage is completed. This approval is expected in May.

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At this time Community Tissue Services has deals with Miami Valley Hospital, Miami Valley Hospital South, and Kettering Health main campus.

The program is getting started with donors who have schedule Caesarian sections, but plans to expand to include vaginal birth donors.

The person from the tissue service will not be in the room when the patient is getting a C-section and will start the collection process later.

Community Tissue Services has been reaching out to obstetrician offices for help sharing information with potential donors. The donor must completed a health history for eligibility, similar to questions a blood donor answers before donating. A blood sample is necessary on day of delivery.

“Then if she’s still wanting to move forward with donation, on delivery day we arrive,” West said.

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