For years, women have been able to store their babies' cord blood at a steep cost. Now, Rhode Island is working toward hosting New England’s first public cord-blood bank.
Stem cells found in cord blood have been used to treat diseases and conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma.
The Rhode Island Blood Center and Women & Infants Hospital have started collecting donated umbilical-cord blood in a one-year trial program. Initially, the blood will be sent to the New Jersey Cord Blood Bank. The blood stored there and at other public blood banks is used to treat people around the world.
“Cord-blood donation is an incredible, painless way to save someone’s life,” Dr. Carolyn Young, chief medical officer at the Rhode Island Blood Center, told The Providence Journal. “There is no controversy, unlike embryonic stem cells.”
Jennifer Lahl, national director for The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, reminded the public that ethical stem-cell research like cord-blood research is the only type that has successfully treated humans.
“It’s good policy as well as good medicine," she said, "and good ethical, scientific discovery and progress.”
Source: Citizenlink.org 22 May 2009