New Parents Now Have Opportunity To Donate To Others In Need

Families who deliver their baby at Good Samaritan will now also have a chance to donate the gift of life to others in need.

Thanks to the collaboration between physicians and nursing staff, Good Samaritan is now offering expectant parents the opportunity to donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid for transplantation and research. In partnership with Life Line Stem Cell, based in New Haven, Indiana, these non-embryonic stem cells can enhance the life of people affected by cancer, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries and eye injuries.

Similar to donating blood, the stem cells collected will be available Amber Leal Websiteto the public for use. After the birth of a baby, the otherwise discarded tissue can now be used to help those who are sick or taken to the laboratory for further research. Employees of Life Line Stem Cell speak with families at the time of delivery to see if they are interested in a donation. “Every patient is given the right to donate the stem cells,” said Tricia Crowe, Life Line Stem Cell Training Manager. “It is important that families understand that we are only using hematopoietic blood cells that are found in the umbilical cord and are blood forming. They give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.” Once the decision to donate has been made by the family and a questionnaire has been completed, the representatives from Life Line Stem Cell will collect all the donated tissue and send to their laboratory. The donated stem cells are sent to the lab for further testing and, once approved for use, are available for anyone in need. If the cells are still available, within one year of donation, families with an imminent need can use their donation for an immediate family member.

“The donation of otherwise discarded stem cells provides wonderful benefits to those diagnosed with life-threatening diseases,” said Margie Suozzi, RN, Director of Women and Infants Center at Good Samaritan. “This partnership with Life Line Stem Cell enables Good Samaritan to be on the forefront of medicine and work toward a healthier future.

Vincennes resident, Amber Leal delivered her daughter, Riley, on January 10, 2017 and was the first patient to donate stem cells. “I just thought ‘why throw the stem cells away when another baby or someone else could benefit from them,’” said Amber. “I’m happy that Good Samaritan started this donation process and it feels great to help others in need.”

Stem Cell Employees WebsiteCritically ill patients with blood diseases are in urgent need of life-saving transplants. Umbilical cord blood contains cells that can give blood cancer patients hope for a cure. Not only can a person donate the cord blood, but they can also donate the cord itself. Stem cells from the umbilical cord are being researched to treat autoimmune diseases and are also used in vaccines for epidemic viruses.

The innermost layer of the placenta is the amniotic membrane. Amnion can be used to repair a damaged eye surface, heal diabetic wounds, and can serve as a temporary burn barrier. The amniotic fluid is a safe, natural covering for wounds. It has an inhibiting influence on inflammation while reducing fibrosis, scarring and adhesions at surgical sites.

“The benefits of stem cells are well known and continuous research is taking place to learn more about its effects on diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and different types of cancer,” said Dr. Thomas O’Rourke, Good Samaritan OB/GYN. “Good Samaritan is on the cutting edge of health care and we constantly look for ways to use new medical advancements to treat our patients.”

The stem cell donation at the time of delivery is strictly voluntary and free to Good Samaritan and the patient. For more information on stem cell donation, contact Good Samaritan’s Women and Infants Center at 812-885-3369 or visit lifelinestemcell.org

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