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CORD Blood

Indiana Regional Medical Center is proud to announce that they will now be offering Cord blood collection and donation.  This relatively new procedure has the potential to be life changing and life saving.

What exactly is cord blood?
When a baby is born there is unused blood in the umbilical cord and the placenta, and this is referred to as placental blood, umbilical cord blood or cord blood.  And although this blood is typically just discarded, it contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, plasma, but most importantly hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells.  These are the same stem cells that are found in bone marrow, but unlike bone marrow these cells can be more easily transplanted because they don’t have to match a patient’s tissue type as closely.  So far, there are 40 diseases that stem cells from cord blood can treat. Some of these diseases are leukemia, cancer and sickle cell anemia.  Research is still being conducted on treating juvenile diabetes and cerebral palsy as well as many other diseases. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will collecting cord blood hurt my baby or me?
Cord blood is taken after the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, and the placenta has been delivered, so collecting the cord blood does not pose any risk to the mother or baby.  The labor and delivery process remains the same, as well as care for the mother and child afterward. 

What is the difference between donating cord blood and storing it for my family?
The collection process for donating and storing cord blood is the same.  It is, however, free to donate cord blood.  Storing it costs you an initial fee as well as a yearly storage fee. 

Whenever you donate your baby’s cord blood to the registry, you are consenting to have it available to anyone that is in need of a transplant. 

How good are my chances of saving my baby’s cord blood?
There is a very high likelihood that you will be able to save your baby’s cord blood if you are healthy and are delivering only one baby.  It is possible to save cord blood from twin, triplets, etc. it is just harder to do so.  It is advised that you ask your doctor about your particular case though, just to make sure.

Are cord blood stem cells part of the stem cell debate that I hear about in the news?
No.  Cord blood stem cells are free of political and ethical debate.  In fact,many states are now introducing legislation to educate families about the option of donating cord blood.  Visit bloodcell.transplant.hrsa.gov to read more about what the government is doing to support cord blood.

Please do not let your baby’s cord blood go to waste.
Indiana Regional Medical Center has partnered with Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC to help save lives through this amazing procedure.  Cord blood is needed from people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in order to match the diverse tissue types of patients as closely as possible.  We identify the cord blood type and list it on the registry of the National Marrow Donor Program®, which operates the largest and most racially and ethnically diverse donor registry available worldwide.

How to donate your cord blood?
Please speak to your physician during your pregnancy regarding donating your cord blood. Your doctor will have the information necessary in their office and is well informed on the process. The process to donate, while simple, must be completed prior to your delivery.

For more information:
Please visit: www.danbergercordblood.org

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