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Dakota Lions Sight & Health, Monument Health Launch Birth Tissue Donation Program

Oct 04, 2021 09:35AM ● By Med Magazine

Monument Health and  Dakota Lions Sight and Health (DLSH) are introducing a birth tissue donation program at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital. The program will coordinate the donation and collection of birth tissue including amniotic membranes and umbilical cords. 

Birth tissue is gathered after a child is born through a planned Caesarean section and poses no risk to the mother or baby. Rapid City Hospital performs approximately 20 planned C-sections a month.

The tissue contains special cells that stimulate healing. Grafts have been shown to have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Additional benefits include quicker recovery, pain suppression and reduction in scar tissue. Birth tissue, including placenta tissue, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid, is presently being utilized to treat a wide variety of conditions including traumatic burns, skin cancer, difficult-to-heal wounds, neurological damage, ulcers, eye injuries, blood disorders and many others.  

A single placenta donation can help 20 to 40 people. The Dakota Lions program is fairly new in this region. It launched in Fargo in January and at Avera in Sioux Falls in June. Rapid City Hospital’s first donation was Thursday, Sept. 16.

“We are proud to be part of this initiative,” said Tina Dillon, Manager of Labor and Delivery at Rapid City Hospital. “We can help countless patients recover from serious ailments, without any risk to mother or child. This is another way we can provide a caring experience for patients all over the country.” 

“As an organization we have always focused on ensuring health care professionals have dependable access to the safe donated tissue they need to deliver the very best care to their patients. The addition of the birth tissue donation program continues this effort and also supports our mission: To help enable the restoration of the gifts of sight and health,” said Marcy Dimond, Chief Executive Officer of Dakota Lions Sight & Health.

As part of this new initiative, Dakota Lions Sight & Health has created educational materials that can be shared with expectant mothers to inform and encourage donations. This material is being made available to health care providers to help educate their patients on the process and benefits of birth tissue donation.