Saturday, 15 November 2008

Just found out about cord blood donation..sounds amazing!

Terie Duffy,cord blood coordinator for Anthony Nolan, with donor mums

Cord blood donation. Now if you are like me you have probably never heard of this term until now, and if by chance you have heard about it, do you know what the story is behind it ?
Let me enlighten you a little, based on what I have found out so far:

Cord Blood is the residual blood that is left over in the part of the umbilical cord that is disposed of after mother and child have been separated. In other words, it would normally be disposed of by the hospital when the birth is complete.
This cord blood is astonishing stuff, it contains large amounts of hematopoietic stem cells, brand new and incredibly "naive" cells that ( due to being still immature) can change into numerous types of cell, this allows them to be used to "repair" damaged cells in area's such as the brain,bone marrow and even the heart !.
I am still swatting up on this information, but this is a link to 2 UK websites which contain a lot more useful information: The NHS one is here at : and this is the Anthony Nolan site:

This sounds like a very promising new development in the fight to find cures and treatments for a wide range of illnesses, including Leukaemia, and the best part about it is that it carries no invasive procedures to "harvest" the cord what is the problem ?
Well the main problem currently within the UK is that there are only 5 hospitals that are offering the cord blood donation harvest to new parents.4 that are run through the NHS Cord Blood Bank service at Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex, Barnet General Hospital in North London, Luton and Dunstable Hospital in Bedfordshire,Watford General Hospital in Hertfordshire and Mater Infirmorum Hospital over in Belfast. the King's College Hospital in London also provides a service via the Anthony Nolan Trust.In the US there are currently 20+ hospitals involved in Cord Blood harvesting, thus many more mothers are able to give this life saving gift at the time of their child's birth.

Have a look at the video that is posted in the left hand column of this blog for more details.

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