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What is birth tissue?

Birth tissue is gestational tissue that can be donated after the delivery of a living newborn.

These tissues include:

  • Placenta
  • Amniotic Membrane
  • Chorionic Membrane
  • Amniotic Fluid
  • Umbilical Cord Tissue
  • Umbilical Veins
  • Wharton’s Jelly

A fetus in the womb. The following is labeled: Placenta, Chorion, Amnion, and Umbilical Cord. Original image by BruceBlaus staff. This image has been modified from the original. Image is licensed under “Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blausen_0747_Pregnancy.png

Image credit: Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. [CC BY 3.0]. This image has been modified from the original.

How is birth tissue used?

Donated birth tissue can be made into products which can be used to treat patients with various medical conditions such as:

  • Treatment of painful, non-healing wounds
  • Treatment of burns
  • Reconstructive procedures to promote healing and reduce scarring
  • Spinal procedures to prevent unwanted adhesion
  • Ophthalmologic, orthopedic and gynecological procedures

Birth tissue may also be used to study new treatments, or in the research and development of other products.

Birth tissue is the fastest growing area in tissue banking.

Due to the increasing demand for birth tissue, the total number of living tissue donors increased from fewer than 600 in 2007, to more than 19,000 in 2015.

From 2012 to 2015, the number of living tissue donors increased by 122% and now make up more than 13% of total tissue donors.

430,662 birth tissue grafts were distributed from AATB accredited institutions in 2015.

I would like to donate birth tissue. What will I be required to do?

If you would like to donate your birth tissue you will be required to:

  • Sign and complete an Informed Consent form
  • Complete a medical and social history interview
  • Allow the review and retention of portions of your medical records
  • Allow blood to be drawn and tested

You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and have those questions answered when you donate.

How can I find accredited banks specializing in birth tissue?

Find accredited banks who specialize in birth tissue through AATB's Accredited Bank Search.