Warnings Issued over Unlawful and Risky Cord Blood Collections

Warnings have been issued to parents and hospital staff over the unlawful collection of umbilical cord blood

Parents are putting staff under pressure to collect the blood, for donation or storage, or are using kits to take it themselves.

The blood is rich in stem cells and can be donated to treat life threatening diseases such as leukaemia, or it can be stored in case the child needs it for treating a condition of their own at a later date.

Cord blood is also used in so-called saviour sibling cases, where couples have fertility treatment in order to have a child that is a match for an existing sick brother or sister.

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Future Health supports HTA over safe cord blood collection campaign, but claims ‘post code lottery’ could lead parents to ‘desperate measures’

Europe’s first accredited private cord blood bank, Future Health Technologies Ltd  (Future Health),  has given its support to the Human Tissue Authority’s campaign, launched today (Tuesday 9 March 2010), to ensure that all UK cord blood collections are both lawful and safe.

 

Interest in cord blood banking – cryogenically storing the stem cells from the umbilical cord for up to 25 years – has become increasingly popular with parents around the world in the last ten years, in line with increasing evidence of the power of stem cells to heal and repair.  In July 2008 the HTA, which regulates cord blood banks, introduced regulation to ensure that cord blood can only be collected under an HTA licence by suitably trained staff.  It is now writing to 150 organisations who may be involved in cord blood collection to remind them of these regulations.  This apparently follows a number of incidents where parents themselves tried to make the collections or put untrained medical staff under pressure to do so for them.

Continue reading "Future Health supports HTA over safe cord blood collection campaign, but claims ‘post code lottery’ could lead parents to ‘desperate measures’" »