Amnion | A Powerful Gift

BTI | The First Gift

BTI is on a mission to increase awareness and donation rates so we can continue to develop medical innovations using amnion, amniotic fluid and cord blood.

At BTI, we are committed to spread the word about donation and how one donor has the potential to provide a life-saving resource to a patient in need.

Donating Your Amnion

Right now, you’re growing a miracle. And right now, your miracle is surrounded by a powerful and protective barrier called amnion, an amazing and natural resource that can save lives, help heal severe wounds, treat burn victims and improve the quality of life for so many.

After your baby is born, he no longer needs it, and sadly, this powerful resource is simply discarded as waste.

By donating your birth tissue, commonly called afterbirth, you can make a difference. Ask your doctor how you can help share your miracle, and in turn, share a powerful gift that will make lives, better.

If your doctor is not a current member of BTi and you would like to donate your birth tissue, or have questions, please contact us, today.

Why Your Donation Matters

Amnion and birth tissue has been used in surgeries and wound care since the early 20th century. Your amniotic tissue donation helps patients heal faster and live better lives. Below are a few areas in medicine where amnion and birth tissue are used.

EYES

Amnion is used in eye surgeries and helps heal damaged ocular tissue. Physicians also use amniotic tissue to help heal corneal ulcerations and chemical burns.

DENTAL

Amniotic tissue is used by dentists to treat gum disease. It can help grow new cells and tissue, creating healthier gums for the patient. It also eliminates the need for having to harvest tissue from the patient’s own mouth, which can be a painful process.

CHRONIC WOUNDS

Diabetic wounds, pressure wounds and severe burns that won’t heal can be treated with amnion and amniotic tissue. It can reduce inflammation and helps the wound site close more rapidly. Why? Because amnion contains growth factors and proteins that can help the patient heal and regenerate damaged tissue.

Cord Blood and Cancer Treatment | Potentially Life-saving Benefits

Umbilical cord blood contains potentially life-saving properties – hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells are precious and can help treat people with certain life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

Hematopoietic stem cells change into red or white blood cells and platelets the body needs to stay healthy. For patients battling leukemia or other hematopoietic cancers, these stem cells can provide life-saving treatment.

Why? When patients receive chemotherapy treatment, both cancer cells and healthy blood-forming stem cells are killed. Transplanted cord blood stem cells can help regrow healthy blood cells after chemotherapy.

According to Keith Wonnacott, Ph.D., Chief of the Cellular Therapies Branch in FDA’s Office of Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies, “Cord blood is useful because it is a source of stem cells that form into blood cells. Cord blood can be used for transplantation in people who need regeneration, that is, ‘regrowth,’ of these blood-forming cells.”

QUICK FACTS

  • The first successful cord blood stem cell implant was performed in 1988 in Paris, France. The patient was a boy with Fanconi anemia, a genetic and potentially life-threatening type of anemia.
  • More than 25,000 transplants using umbilical cord blood have taken place worldwide.
  • Stem cells from cord blood can be given to more people than those from bone marrow. The stems cells in cord blood are less likely to be rejected than those in bone marrow.
  • It is easier to collect cord blood than bone marrow, as bone marrow collection poses risks and can be painful for the donor.
  • Unlike bone marrow stem cells, cord blood can be used to strengthen immune systems during cancer treatments.
  • Cord blood stem cell transplants are now successfully treating patients (mostly children) with over 70 diseases, including:
    • acute lymphocytic leukemia
    • acute myelogenous leukemia
    • myelodysplastic syndromes
    • chronic myelogenous leukemia
    • juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia
    • chronic lymphocytic cancer
    • Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Wiskott Aldrich syndrome
    • Thalassemia
    • Severed combined immune deficiency

RESOURCES: Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplants | The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, August 2007; Cord Blood: What You Need to Know | U.S. Food & Drug Administration, July 2014; Cord Blood Awareness: Quick Facts, Contemporary OB/GYN, July 2020

More and More People are Choosing to Donate

According to the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), 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.

Become a part of the growing number of mothers choosing to donate their afterbirth and help people live healthier, happier lives.

Your Donation Makes a Difference

Amnion, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord and cord blood contain healing properties unlike any other tissue. These tissues have special biologic components with specific functions that encourage the healing process and even save lives. Don’t let this gift be discarded — become a donor and share your miracle.

WHO CAN DONATE

Any healthy, expectant person is eligible to donate.

Some medical conditions may disqualify a donor, for example, active cancer and/or infectious diseases.

DONATING IS EASY

The donation process is easy and safe, poses no risk to you or your baby, and can help improve many lives. Here’s how it works:

Whether you are having a C-section or vaginal birth, you are eligible.

Let your physician know you are interested in donating and your physician will contact BTI.

Usually on the day of your planned C-section, a BTI staff member will have you sign a formal consent form, as well as a questionnaire regarding your medical and personal history. This information will not be shared and is only used to ensure safety standards are met.

A blood sample will be drawn to ensure you are healthy and do not have any infectious diseases.

After delivering your miracle, a BTI staff member will work with your delivery team to recover your afterbirth.

About

Leadership

Dan Maye

Birth Tissue International President Dan Maye co-founded BTi in 2016 along with Holly Hewitt with the purpose of addressing the growing need for birth tissue-derived products for patients.

With more than 25 years experience in tissue banking and 15 years experience in birth tissue recovery, Maye is a leader in this industry. Following the strictest protocols, as well as federal and state regulations, Maye and Hewitt created BTi – a unique birth tissue recovery program that places hospitals, first, providing tailored recovery programs for each facility based on their unique needs.

This vision has proved successful for BTi and its hospitals, and under Maye and Hewitt’s leadership, BTi continues to be a leader in birth tissue recovery, providing life-enhancing and life-saving tissue to patients throughout the U.S.

Holly Hewitt

A leader in tissue banking and birth tissue recovery, BTi co-founder Holly Hewitt has more than 15 years experience in birth tissue recovery and 25 years experience in tissue banking.

In 1994, Hewitt began work as a tissue recovery technician with the American Red Cross Tissue Services. In 2000, Hewitt and a team of talented individuals created and launched the first nationwide program to improve relationships between medical examiners and the organ and tissue donation community, focusing on strong collaboration and ultimately, increased awareness.

In addition to BTi, Hewitt serves as an AATB Birth Tissue Committee co-chair and as AATB Living Donor Council chair.

As author of the original birth tissue guidance document that was adopted by the FDA, Hewitt brings a wide array of expertise and experience to BTi, and is responsible for training and development, quality assurance and regulatory rules and regulations.

FDA and HIPAA Compliant

Birth Tissue International (BTi) is registered with the FDA and complies with the established HIPAA laws to ensure the confidentiality of all sensitive information. We are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care, patient understanding and safety throughout the entire donation process.

The Gift of Amnion

Since the early 20th century, amnion, the fluid protecting and nourishing your baby in the womb, has been used in various surgical procedures. Today, it is used to treat burn victims, difficult to heal wounds and soft tissue injuries, as well as used as a natural healing barrier in surgery.

Sadly, amnion and afterbirth is simply thrown away as medical waste after a baby is born. However, you can make a difference and choose to donate it after your precious miracle is born.

Donating Your Afterbirth

Ask your physician about donating your afterbirth. A single donation could help heal hundreds and allow people to live better lives. If your physician is not a current member of our birth tissue donation program and you would like to donate or you have questions, please contact us for further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS

Are you collecting baby parts?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. The baby is not at all affected by this donation. After your delivery, BTI takes the placenta, called afterbirth. The afterbirth is considered waste and usually thrown away.

Is the baby harmed when the mom donates?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. The baby or mother is not at all affected by this donation. BTI takes the placenta and portion of the umbilical cord called afterbirth. The afterbirth is considered waste and usually thrown away.

Do you collect donations from aborted fetuses/babies?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. All donations are collected from healthy, consenting mothers who are scheduled to have a C-section. After the baby is born, BTI takes the placenta, called afterbirth. The afterbirth is considered waste and usually thrown away.

What do you do with the donation?

Amnion contains healing properties unlike any other tissue. These tissues have special biologic components with specific functions that encourage the healing process and even save lives.

The donation is used to heal severe wounds, treat burn victims, and so much more. Donations are used to create products for a variety of different specialties, including spine, sports medicine, ophthalmology and more. It’s also used to develop innovative, new healthcare products.

FOR PHYSICIANS & ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

How do you ensure that BTI recovery programs will not interfere with hospital workflow?

BTI considers it paramount that BTI does not interfere with or cause delays in daily workflow. BTI ensures our tissue recovery program meets the highest standards in the industry and seamlessly integrates into hospital processes.

Who is responsible for birth tissue recovery?

Once we reach an agreement, BTI either provides a highly professional representative or trains hospital staff members to serve as a Birth Tissue Donation Coordinator.

How much time and effort will be added to hospital workflow?

None. Patients will review and sign a consent form explaining the process and requirements, complete a short medical and social history questionnaire, allow blood to be drawn and tested (normally on the day of delivery after an IV is in place) and permit BTI to review, make copies and retain relevant medical records.

Once the nurse or medical professional has drawn the donating mother’s blood, it is provided to the BTI representative and sent for testing at BTI’s approved laboratory.

Tissue is collected from the mother during the delivery and immediately passed to the BTI representative in the hospital operating room. Medical records are collected according to the hospital’s established procedure and reviewed for donor eligibility determination. Depending on the donation process established with the hospital during the contract stage, the hospital may elect for BTI-trained hospital staff to perform some of the aforementioned steps.

What do nurses and physicians think about BTI?

We make every effort prior to initiating the program to educate nursing and medical staff about the donation process, use of tissue, and to address any questions or concerns.

We attempt to incrementally implement the program to give time to receive feedback and refine the process as necessary. BTI offers a thorough consultation and final program design is decided by the hospital.

Nurses and physicians recognize the value of tissue donation and the enhanced experience this opportunity provides their patients.

What do patients think about birth tissue donation?

The vast majority of women and their families intuitively recognize the altruistic value of granting permission for their birth tissues to be used to help heal and treat patients that are suffering. Especially, when one considers the alternative is for it to be discarded. A well-organized donation program can have a consent rate that exceeds 90%.

How does BTI assure patient record privacy?

BTI founders have decades of experience working in hospitals across the country and are intimately aware of FDA requirements, as well as HIPPA guidelines involving patient privacy. All information is kept strictly confidential and no identifying information is shared with anyone, except where required by law.

BTI staff will attach a unique donor identification code to the donated tissue and records related to each donation. BTI will store all donor records secure at BTI for as long as required by law.

Contact

Don’t let your potential gift go to waste. Contact us to find out how you can make a difference with your donation.