Saving cord blood for infant transfusion??

  1. Have you ever heard of this, or does your hospital routinely do it?
    It seems to me that a patient population could be identified at delivery (ie: 26 wks and under) and the cord blood could be saved and sent to the blood bank for transfusing the infant should the need occur (and it usually does on our micro preemies)
    Just wondering if anyone had any knowledge of this practice or know of any information?

    Thanks!
    Jenny
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    This is something a woman's obstetrician should discuss with her during pregnancy. Some women choose to donate the cord blood to the national bank where it can be used by anyone who matches it. This type of donation is free, but if your child or family member gets sick down the road, you run the risk of the blood having been used for someone else in the meantime.

    Other women choose to bank the cord blood, saving it in their name for the future, in case the child or anyone in the family needs it. This type of donation costs quite a bit of money - I believe about $2,000 for the initial collection and preservation, and then maybe a hundred or so dollars a year for LIFE to keep the blood banked safely. The benefit from this, though, is that the blood is your possession and it won't be used unless you ask for it.

    Either way, the doctor NEEDS to know this before delivery. There are special techniques and kits they have for removing all the cord blood and things need to be set up during labor, I believe.

    I personally plan to donate my cord blood to the national bank for anonymous usage, if my obstetrician agrees to do the collection. I agree that it should be done more often because it's a waste of perfectly good blood that could save lives, and if you do the free donation, it's better than just letting it be thrown out!

    HOWEVER, about using it for regular transfusions - this is not what I'm talking about. Cord blood is full of stem cells, and the transfusion of cord blood has been shown to actually CURE many kinds of cancer and neurological problems in people, especially children. It's now considered to be even better than bone marrow transplant for cancer patients. It's much more valuable than regular blood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edit by Gompers on Aug 18, '06
  4. by   justjenny
    Thanks for the reply.
    Yep, I know all of that information (about saving cord blood, etc.) but I have never heard of it saved for the NICU. I googled "autologous cord blood transfusion" and found that it really hasn't been studied a whole lot and there are problems with bacterial contamination, etc.
    We have had some families in great distress over their preemie receiving donated blood (PRBC's) and our blood bank does allow family members to donate exclusively for the infant (about 2 week turnaround from collection to when it is available to the infant)

    Jenny
  5. by   Gompers
    Quote from justjenny
    Thanks for the reply.
    Yep, I know all of that information (about saving cord blood, etc.) but I have never heard of it saved for the NICU. I googled "autologous cord blood transfusion" and found that it really hasn't been studied a whole lot and there are problems with bacterial contamination, etc.
    We have had some families in great distress over their preemie receiving donated blood (PRBC's) and our blood bank does allow family members to donate exclusively for the infant (about 2 week turnaround from collection to when it is available to the infant)

    Jenny
    Right, and I'm thinking that cord blood isn't "normal" blood and therefore not appropriate for "normal" transfusions in the NICU, therefore it isn't something that is done at this point in time. I'm just saying that it drives me nuts that cord blood is liquid gold and we throw it out all the time...
  6. by   husker-nurse
    My daughter did this very thing with her kids; one just never knows when it might be absolutely needed...........
  7. by   justjenny
    Quote from Gompers
    Right, and I'm thinking that cord blood isn't "normal" blood and therefore not appropriate for "normal" transfusions in the NICU, therefore it isn't something that is done at this point in time. I'm just saying that it drives me nuts that cord blood is liquid gold and we throw it out all the time...

    Okay, gotcha. I didn't see where you were going with the original post.
    Thanks for the info!!
    Jenny
  8. by   nesher
    Cord blood has not yet been proven to be better than a stem cell transplant. It is being researched of course. I had a patient for the last two weeks who had a double cord blood transplant (one wasn't enough cells) - this person is engrafting slowly but over all isn't much different than one of our regular transplants. The reason as I understand it that parents save the cord blood of their babies is because it is so rich in stem cells and they are banking it for the future. It isn't cheap however so many folks donate it.

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