Updated: Jan 4
You’ve probably heard about the placenta mostly in the context of pregnancy! But have you heard about the abundant uses it has after the safe delivery of a baby?
A donated placenta can be turned into a tissue graft made from the placental membrane to treat acute and chronic wounds. These wounds include, but are not limited to, burns, non-healing surgical incisions, a variety of ulcers and general wound care. Lifesaving tissue grafts are designed to be applied directly to the surface of the acute or chronic wound to accelerate the body’s healing process, reduce pain and minimize scarring and infection.
Why is the placenta so special?
The placenta is an amazing organ that is capable of so much good! It is the organ that forms in the uterus during pregnancy and is responsible for the exchange of nutrients and gases from mom to baby. Not only does the placenta supply nutrients to the growing baby, but it also acts as a barrier to protect the baby from harmful things that may be in the mother’s blood (like an infection).
The placenta is comprised of the amniotic membrane and the umbilical cord which are formed during pregnancy and grow with the baby. Amniotic comes from the word amnion, which is defined as the innermost of the embryonic membrane. The two main layers of tissue in the amniotic membrane are the amnion and the chorion (The chorion is the outermost layer, and the amnion is the innermost layer). They work together to supply the baby with necessary nutrients and gases and protect the baby.
Since the placental membrane is a natural biological barrier, can grow cells rapidly, and is rich in bio-active molecules (hormones, growth factors etc.), it is extremely useful in regenerative surgeries and procedures. For example, placental grafts are used to treat spinal injuries, corneal (eye) injuries, diabetic foot ulcers and burn wounds. AND one placenta can produce up to 100 skin grafts! That’s quite a bit of impact one placenta can make. Unfortunately, most placentals are discarded as medical WASTE and do not have the chance to be turned into grafts or used to treat patients in need.
YOU CAN HELP CHANGE THAT! Learn more about Birth Tissue Donor Services right now!
Birth Tissue Donor Services (BTDS for short) works with donor moms, hospitals and qualified medical staff to collect placentas after the safe delivery of a baby. The placentas that are donated are then sent to processors who make the placenta into tissue grafts that provide life enhancing and lifesaving care to so many patients.
BTDS exists to make connections with moms and partner with hospitals to educate people about the lifesaving and life enhancing potential of the placenta and other birth tissue (Umbilical cord, Amniotic fluid, Warton’s Jelly, etc). BTDS' mission is to serve and honor a mother's wish to donate birth tissue and support the need of human tissue for transplantation, research, and education.