Most women receiving obstetric care at UI Hospitals and Clinics are eligible to be a part of the Maternal Fetal Tissue Bank. If a woman consents to be part of the Maternal Fetal Tissue Bank, the bank has approval to take "a little extra" blood, urine, or any specimen from a clinically necessary test. At the time of birth, cord blood, maternal blood, and placenta are also collected.
Blood samples for the bank are drawn at the same time regular blood samples are taken throughout the pregnancy‚ at the first visit with an obstetrician, during the screening in the second trimester and at glucose testing at 28 weeks.
Samples are stored with a study number, but are not identifiable for researchers using the bank. To maintain privacy, researchers are given relevant clinical information pertaining to the sample, but they cannot trace it back to a particular person. Donna Santillan said the bank is strictly for research and not for personal use. In other words, she said, families aren't able to store tissue to withdraw later in the case of a medical emergency.
The bank is growing over time; in its first year 532 women had consented to donate tissue to the banks, with more than half those consents coming in the first half of 2011.
Please consult your nurse or physician if you are interested in donating.