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FMC had its first placenta donation on Nov. 18, 2020.

Mothers who deliver via a scheduled Cesarean section at Fairfield Medical Center will now have the option to donate their placenta to help heal others. FMC is one of more than a dozen institutions throughout Central Ohio to participate in Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation Program. 

At its core, the program allows mothers to donate the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic membrane from the 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. The placenta is typically discarded following the birth.

Healing grafts made from a placenta donation are used for a wide range of procedures involving eye, oral and spine surgery, and for the treatment of difficult-to-heal wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and burns. 

“Knowing that placenta donations can make a difference in the lives of up to 25 people by helping to heal wounds from burns, cancer treatment and ulcers, my staff feel very honored to be a part of this cutting edge process,” said Deb Price, manager of FMC’s Maternity Department. FMC had its first placenta donation on Nov. 18, 2020.

Rachael Beasley, Placenta Program Coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio, said the placenta donation process starts with a simple phone call to Lifeline of Ohio. The mother can self-refer by calling 877-B-A-DONOR, or she can go through her physician’s office. There is no cost associated for placenta donation. 

“Every placenta donor has to compete our medical/social history questionnaire to ensure the safety of the donation,” Beasley said. “This questionnaire is very similar to the one you take if you were to donate blood. The health criteria is similar, too. However, we ask that moms don’t rule themselves out and to talk to us first to determine suitability.”

Beasley said donors can be any age and the process of donating the placenta does not change any part of the Cesarean delivery. She said placenta donation is not related to cord blood donation.

To learn more about Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation program, visit lifelineofohio.org/placentadonation.