Processing birth tissue

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Processing birth tissue

The amnion

The amnion is the deepest layer of the placenta. The structure of this membrane has special functions, which help in the healing process. In order to obtain the amnion, the whole placenta with cord is collected and sent to the Eye Bank.

Amnion is used during eye surgery as a bandage to help damaged eye tissue heal. Doctors use it to treat chemical burns to the eye, corneal ulcers, and eye diseases. If the amnion cannot be used for transplant, it can be used to advance medical science through research or education.

Who can donate?

Pregnant women with a planned C-section delivery can donate amnion to the Eye Bank. Health conditions that prevent donation include cancer and a high risk for infectious disease. There is no age limit to be a donor.

Process for amnion donation

  1. The doctor completes a written consent and physical exam form with the donor. The forms are sent to the Eye Bank to determine if the amnion is safe for transplant
  2. A staff member at the Eye Bank contacts the donor over the phone to ask questions about any health or social risk factors. The information is needed to determine if there are any diseases present that may be passed on to the recipient.
  3. A sample of blood is taken when you go to the hospital on the day of the scheduled C-section.
  4. The placenta with cord is collected at the time of the scheduled C-section. If the C-section does not go ahead as planned, you may not be able to donate your placenta.
  5. After processing, the amnion is kept frozen until it is ready for transplant.

Costs associated with an amnion donation

There are no costs to donors for an amnion donation. Any costs for donating are paid for by the Eye Bank of Canada (Ontario Division).

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