Cord blood Education has been a legal requirement in some parts of the USA for a decade. As doctors push for increased awareness, we ask: Why is the UK being left behind?
Cord Blood Education in the United States
Medical experts are lobbying Washington to make sure that pregnant women in other states know that the stem cells in their baby’s cords could save their child’s life or the life of another patient in the future.
A law in Pennsylvania passed a decade ago requires health care facilities and providers to inform mothers-to-be how to arrange for cord blood storage. Dr Arreguin, Director of Women’s Health at Geisinger Northeast, wants Pennsylvania to emerge as a leading site. “With our proximity to Washington, DC we absolutely need to go and lobby and make sure that we here in the state of Pennsylvania can actually get access to that to be able to put that into place.”
Cord blood hailed as disease cure
“Worldwide, we have 3,000 Americans to date annually that die because they are unable to get cord blood transplants.” said Dr Arreguin “We’re throwing good valuable blood away. The blood that was collected in Tucson, Arizona went to actually provide a blood transplant: life-saving measures for two children. With our proximity to Washington DC we need to make sure that we get access to that, and put that into place.”
Cord blood education in the UK
Salmaan Dalvi, PhD, gives a shrewd analysis of the challenge in the UK in “The Importance of Cord Blood Education for the Future of Medicine” published on the Parents Guide to Cord Blood website in July 2018. The doctor explains that cord blood has evolved from medical waste to a rich source of stem cells but that the UK lags behind other countries in umbilical cord blood banking, arguing that Midwives play a key role:
“There is not enough professional education on the importance of this liquid of life. The clinical community, and the majority of the United Kingdom population, are unaware of the potential of storing cord blood.”