RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monument Health has teamed up with Dakota Lions Sight and Health to create a new birth tissue donation program at the Rapid City Hospital.
Birth tissues such as placenta, umbilical cords, and amniotic membranes can be used for a variety of medical purposes. However, prior to this program, the hospital was just immediately discarding the materials.
“The uniqueness of the placenta and the amnion is that it has cytokines,” Dakota Lions Sight and Health C.E.O Marcy Dimond explained. “Special wound-healing cells that also have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties to them, so they help alleviate pain in patients that are suffering.”
Birth tissue can help patients recover faster and cut down scarring. The tissue is also helping to treat burns, skin cancer, eye injuries, blood disorders, and many other ailments.
A single placenta has the ability to help anywhere from 20 to 40 people. Dakota Lions, despite a delay in opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched programs in both Sioux Falls and Fargo in the first half of this year.
Both Dimond and Monument Health are looking forward to the future of this program and how it will change so many lives.
“I would love to see our community really embrace this technology and this opportunity to send what we would normally be throwing away to be utilized to help other people,” Manager of Labor and Delivery Tina Dillon said. “I really hope that our community will embrace it and people will come forward and want to be a part of it.”
And so far, people are beginning to step up and be part of the program. Rapid City Hospital received their first birth tissue donation on September 16th. And for those that participate, Dimond has a special gift mothers and newborns to show just how much she and Monument are grateful for their donation.
“As a thank-you gift to the moms, we send the babies a onesie,” she said. “We very much consider these babies heroes to someone in need.”
Officials advise anyone interested in being part of the program to consult their doctor before contacting Monument Health and Dakota Lions Sight and Health about donating birth tissue.