Thursday 17 August 2017

'I donated placenta to help work of search and rescue dogs'

Katriona Woods with her children Milo (3) and Nancy (6 months). Photo: Tony Gavin
Katriona Woods with her children Milo (3) and Nancy (6 months). Photo: Tony Gavin

Chrissie Russell

Irish mothers are beginning to donate their placentas to the Civil Defence's Human Remains Detection (HRD) dogs, to aid in recovery searches.

While air-scenting dogs are used to find living missing people, HRD dogs are crucial in searches for the deceased. To train them, handlers need small amounts of blood and tissue - which is where the placentas come in.

Katriona Woods, from Kildare, is one mother who decided to donate her placenta.

"My midwife asked me what I wanted to do with my placenta. I didn't want to just dump it, so I brought it home where it stayed in our freezer for ages," she said.

"Eventually I got a number for a guy at the Civil Defence and he was delighted to get it. It's great to know I might have played some small part in a search and rescue operation."

Last year, the Civil Defence assisted in 80 searches with their dog teams often a crucial part of those operations.

Just one or two placentas are donated a year.

For the full story, see Health & Living in today's Irish Independent

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