Stem cell collection at Epsom and St Helier
One day, your baby’s cord blood stem cells could help to repair damaged tissues, regrow or repair worn out organs, or even help to cure a life threatening disease.
The blood from your baby’s umbilical cord is one of the richest and most powerful sources of stem cells available. In all births, some cord blood is left behind in the umbilical cord and placenta after the baby is delivered and the umbilical cord is cut. Collecting it is quick, simple, safe and non-invasive.
In the UK, we throw away 60,000 litres per year of what is potentially a life-changing and even life-saving resource. We want to change this.
The maternity units at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals are working alongside Cells4Life, the UK’s largest cord blood bank, to offer public and private cord blood storage programs.
Over the last two decades, stem cell banking has become routine practice for many families throughout the world for treatment of a variety of diseases, or for future therapeutic uses which are currently in their research phase, including type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. Until recently, bone marrow was the primary source of stem cells but the use of cord blood stem cells has become routine for transplantations, and has now evolved as the primary source.
Consent and collection process
Your antenatal midwife will ask whether you wish to donate your cord blood for donation during one of your appointments. If you do not wish to donate your cord blood, you can opt out.
For cord blood storage, you have two options:
- You can donate your baby’s blood to a public cord bank for anyone who needs it.
- You can pay to store your baby’s cord blood in a private cord blood bank for your family’s use.
The Trust will always put you and your baby first and this may result in a donation not being taken.
The Trust receives a small payment from Cells4Life for every donation of cord blood.
Further information is available at http://cells4life.com or on discussion with the antenatal midwives.