Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Share the Gift of Life – Cord Blood & Placenta Donation


Most parents are unaware that cord blood, which comes from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord and placenta, can save lives.

Among other diseases, cord blood stem cells can treat:
  • Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia
  • Some cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma
  • Genetic disorders such as Hurler’s Syndrome and Krabbe Disease
Used in research, donated cord blood can play a role in medical advancements and improve treatment for future patients.

Cells in the innermost layer of the placenta also have healing properties. They serve as a surgical dressing and are used in surgeries for the eye, teeth, brain, and urinary system.

Don’t let your cord blood and placenta be disposed of as medical waste.

If you’re expecting a baby, find out how you can make a difference in someone’s life, even a family member’s.

Donating Cord Blood

Cord Blood Banking for Personal Use

Private cord blood banking is often considered when a full sibling in the family has a medical condition that could potentially benefit from cord blood transplantation or stem cell transplant.

Cord blood banking is available through several cord blood banking labs, such as Via Cord, that can save cord blood for use by a family member. 

This option requires you to register with a private company and bring the cord blood collection kit to the hospital. The cord blood is collected by your midwife or physician, and you label, package and arrange for the transport of the cord blood. Because the contract is between you and a private company, your hospital cannot become involved in this process.

The cost for the collection and processing of the cord blood varies, and there is a yearly fee for the storage of the blood.

Donating Cord Blood to a Public Bank

A cord blood bank will save your cord blood until a need for it is identified and a match is found. It could also be used by a member of your family, if the cord blood is still available when the need arises.

Donating cord blood to a public bank is free for parents. However, the cost to the blood bank is high, which is why there are so few public cord blood banks in the United States.

In the Western New York area, there are no national public cord banks. Donation to a public cord bank can only be accomplished at one of several hospitals in New York City and Virginia. These hospitals typically serve a larger population and deliver at least 7,000 babies each year.

Although Western New York does not have a public cord bank, you may be able to donate to Be The Match Registry® by contacting an affiliated hospital. Limited donations are accepted.

Please note that your midwife or physician must be willing to collect the donation.

Click here for more information.

Donating the Placenta

Placenta can be used in tens of thousands of surgeries annually.

Donations of placenta are accepted by the local organization Unyts at no cost to you.

A routine blood specimen will be collected on the day that you deliver, at the same time as your admittance. The placenta will be collected following your baby’s delivery – no additional surgeries are required, and the donation is safe for both mom and baby.

To donate placenta, you must deliver your baby via a scheduled C-section (as the placenta must be harvested under sterile conditions), and you must have the approval of your physician.

If you would like to donate, please contact the Unyts Donor Referral Center at (716) 853-6667 ext. 5 for more information.

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