As a registered organ donor, Caryn Gorby of Lancaster didn’t hesitate to agree when a nurse at Fairfield Medical Center asked her if she wanted to donate her son’s placenta to Lifeline of Ohio following his delivery. The selfless decision on Aug. 3 not only brought healing to others, but also marked the 500th placenta donated to the Lifeline of Ohio Placenta Donation Program.
At its core, the program allows parents to donate the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic membrane from birth to Lifeline of Ohio, which is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes and coordinates the donation of human organs and tissues for transplantation. Caryn first heard of the Lifeline of Ohio Placenta Donation Program through her OBGYN’s office and then again at FMC on her scheduled due date as she was preparing to deliver her third son, Sawyer. Caryn shared how easy the process was to become a placenta donor. “The team did a really great job of explaining everything. I had to answer a few questions and give my consent to do the donation, but everything was taken care of that day by the nurses at FMC.”
Normally, if there are no plans to keep the placenta, it is discarded following birth. Through the Lifeline of Ohio Placenta Donation Program, parents have the option to donate the placenta to serve as a healing skin graft. These nutrient-loaded grafts serve as a bandage and are used to help individuals who have experienced a severe injury or wound that will not heal. On average, one placenta can be processed to make about 25 healing grafts for individuals in need.
FMC labor and delivery nurse Sara Wright shared that FMC is proud to offer the program. “The placental donation program means a lot to the FMC Maternity Department because it’s a great way to provide the gift of healing to someone with a variety of medical issues while also having the joy of delivering a healthy baby.”
“This milestone was made possible through collaboration with our dedicated partner, Fairfield Medical Center, and the generous decisions of new parents. Providers and their staff shared this opportunity with expecting mothers in their community and aided Lifeline of Ohio in facilitating the acquisition of placenta tissue following delivery. Fairfield Medical Center’s strong support of this program has made placenta donation possible for any patient who expressed an interest, ultimately healing countless lives through these generous gifts,” said Andrew Mullins, Lifeline of Ohio CEO.
Since the start of the program in 2019, 22 of the 500 placentas have been donated by mothers who delivered at FMC. All individuals with scheduled Cesarean sections at FMC are given the opportunity to participate in this program of healing. “The placenta was something that I could easily donate to hopefully help others and make their healing process quicker,” stated Caryn. “I highly encourage others to consider donating because the process is simple and it can help quite a few people.”
There is no cost associated with placenta donation. Talk with your primary obstetrician to participate in the placental donation program or self-refer by calling 877-B-A-DONOR.
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