AUSTIN, Texas—St. David's Medical Center is giving new mothers who deliver a baby through cesarean section the opportunity to donate their often otherwise discarded placental tissue to improve the lives of others by providing potentially life-changing treatment options, as well as advancing research, for a variety of conditions. Placental tissue accelerates the healing process and reduces the risk of infection in patients suffering from common injuries, including diabetic wounds and burns.
“We are pleased to be able to offer placental tissue donation to expectant mothers at no cost to the patient,” Laraine McIntyre, director of women’s services at St. David’s Medical Center, said. “Placental tissue has the potential to help patients heal, and these donations may lead to innovative therapies for patients across the globe.”
In 2012, St. David's Medical Center launched a related program to collect umbilical cord blood (an alternative to bone marrow stem cells), which provides new mothers delivering at St. David’s Medical Center another opportunity to provide lifesaving stem cells for patients in need of a transplant.
To participate in the free placental tissue or cord blood donation programs, mothers must be at least 18 years old and in good health at the time of delivery. Cesarean section patients interested in donating their placenta can simply notify their care teams upon arrival to the hospital.