Frequently Asked Questions for Donors
What birth tissues can I donate?
BTDS offers the opportunity to both vaginal and C-section patients to donate their birth tissue, which consists of the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid. Patients can donate any, all, or none of the above as it is a voluntary gift. Once a mother is consented, birth tissue is acquired following the safe and healthy delivery of her baby.
What happens to my birth tissue if I choose not to donate?
Birth tissue is usually discarded as medical waste. If you choose to donate, it can be made into tissue grafts to help wounded patients heal.
What does BTDS do with my donated tissue?
A BTDS recovery technician will prepare the tissue to be sent to tissue organizations that make these gifts into tissue grafts. The tissue graft acts as a barrier to protect wounds from infection, reduce inflammation, and reduce scarring. There are many applications for birth tissue grafts such as wound care, burn grafts, cervical grafts, and ocular grafts.
Can I bank my cord blood?
Donation of your placenta does not imply the donation of your umbilical cord. You can donate both or either. Donation is completely voluntary and does not interfere with a mother's wish to bank her cord blood.
Will I be paid for donating my birth tissue?
There is no reimbursement or cost associated with donating your birth tissue.
What are the steps involved with coordinating my donation?
There is an option to pre-register on our website (hyperlink to registration page inserted here). If BTDS has an established program at the hospital where you are set to deliver, a BTDS team member will introduce themselves to you during your hospital stay to complete the donation process. If we do not have an active program at that hospital and you have already pre-registered via the BTDS website, we will contact that hospital in an effort to honor your wish to donate.
What are the risks of donating?
There are no risks associated with donating. Donation involves no additional surgical procedures and only occurs after the safe delivery of the baby.
Who will I work with during the donation process?
All aspects of the donation process are handled by qualified and experienced BTDS staff. Birth Tissue Recovery staff work with the hospital staff to make sure that the donation process is unobtrusive while ensuring the donated tissue is safe for transplant.
How do I know if I qualify to donate my placenta and umbilical cord?
BTDS will work to qualify each potential patient by reviewing medical records and completing a brief medical social questionnaire with mom. We offer mothers who have healthy caesarean or vaginal deliveries the opportunity to donate. For the safety of patients receiving transplants developed from your donated tissues, we screen for communicable infections, illnesses and/or diseases. Donations that may compromise the safety of the tissue recipient are not recovered. BTDS follows all federal, state and local tissue bank standards as well as all FDA regulations.
What does BTDS do with my personal information?
BTDS follows all the same guidelines as the hospital to safeguard patient information. We will not give out or sell any of your contact information to other organizations, and we will not contact a patient after the donation is complete unless otherwise requested. We will provide our contact information to all donors who choose to call us for follow-up questions.