Thursday, November 20, 2008

Donating Cord Blood Answers

From Susan Hovey at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL:

"All mothers’ are asked if they are planning to do cord blood banking or donation. If they indicate they are not doing either – we ask if they want us to dispose of their cord blood or if they are interested in donating. There is an entry in our admission profile in IDX that the nurse asking this information documents the patient’s response.

There are 2 situations that a mother would be asked this. One is by one of ‘the-two Sues”. We are RN’s in Labor and Delivery that call all mothers who have a prearranged Cesarean Section or Induction. The other scenario is when an unscheduled mother is admitted to the Family Birthing Center. At that point, the admitting nurse asks her if she is banking or donating cord blood. The only thing the mother does for donating cord blood is give verbal permission for us to collect.

Peggy Mankin (309) 671-8447, the coordinator at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria for the research grant for collection of cord blood needs to be called. If the patient’s situation is such that she has been unable to call Peggy, she can give permission to the nurse. We notify Peggy and she comes to the hospital to get permission from the mother. The medical team at delivery does all the paperwork, collection and contacting of Peggy to indicate we have received a donation, There are no fees of any kind incurred from the donor or the hospital. The donor does not have to ‘jump through any hoops’ to participate in such a valuable donation."

I talked to Peggy about how the cord blood is being used. She says basically the main project they've been working on for the last three years is cancer. They are using stem cells from cord blood to track down and kill brain cancer cells. It has been working really well in mice. The second project is repairing spinal cord injuries in rats. The animals with spinal cord injuries are now using their limbs again. She says it has been very successful and she expects human trials to begin on this project first. UICOMP is also working on cardiac repair. Peggy said, "We treat the animals with a stem cells to repair the heart muscle itself." Most of know when you have a heart attack, that dead tissue cannot be repaired. This would great for so many people.

If you have any other questions about donating stem cell cord blood, post a comment and I will get you an answer.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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