There goes the neighborhood

Thanks to Kevin for trusting us and letting us play on his blog while he is (hopefully) on vacation. With any luck, we wont trash the joint. It’s hard to imagine how an oncologist, nephrologist, ER/hospitalist, psychiatrist, pathologist (in a former life I think Dr. Bottles was a pathologist), and obstetrician could get into any trouble….guess, we’ll see.

I’m all in favor of umbilical cord blood banking and public cord banks, but this legislation just rubs me the wrong way.

Governor Jim Doyle, joined by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, today signed Assembly Bill 270, which promotes the donation of umbilical cord blood to blood banks by requiring doctors to inform pregnant women of their options for donation by the 35th week of pregnancy. Stem cells derived from the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies have proven to be a potentially life-saving resource in the treatment of certain diseases.

“As Governor, I am doing all that I can to encourage the cutting-edge scientific research happening here in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “The stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood hold great potential to offer life-saving treatment to people with leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and dozens of other blood disorders and Assembly Bill 270 provides another tool for scientists to combat these diseases.”

Research done at the Medical College of Wisconsin has highlighted the life-saving significance of umbilical cord blood. Stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood provide a viable transplant source for thousands of leukemia patients who have no other treatment option. Additionally, it has been found that survival rates for recipients of umbilical cord stem cells are comparable to those of patients receiving bone marrow transplants, and that children with leukemia and other blood disorders receiving umbilical cord blood experience fewer life-threatening complications than do those receiving bone marrow transplants.

Even though the legislation has good intentions, I assume that there will have to be some mechanism in place to monitor compliance with the law. Of course, that requires paperwork and time. And if we forget to inform the patient of the availability of cord blood banking, then what? Fines? It is unfortunate that our legislators don’t trust us to inform our patients of this opportunity. Perhaps my skin is just too thin today. Much more on private and public cord banks here. Cross posted at RedStateMoron.

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  • Anonymous

    Question for the physicians. Does anyone regulate these blood banks? I paid $1000 for them to take my kid’s and keep it somewhere, but it was mostly just on faith.

    Who oversees these banks?

    CJD

  • RSM

    CJD,
    I believe the private cord blood banks are regulated by the FDA. I trust most would have accreditation by American Assocation of Blood Banks. I suspect there are state regulations, etc. Public cord blood banks have similar regulations.

  • Cordbloodhub

    Good point. There are however a few other things many people should be aware of. Most know that cord blood banks collect, process, test and store the donated umbilical cord blood for the public use, taking into account the great number of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases each year. Therefore, cord blood banks look after expectant mothers, informing them about the importance of their umbilical cord blood and the possibility of helping some people who suffer from terrible diseases. Nevertheless, the information and sensitizing of the population is not fully achieved as in the case of simple blood donation. Cord blood stem cell transplants are considered in order to replace blood marrow transplants. The possibility of finding the match for the patients in need increases, as in 2001 the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies stated that roughly 20,000 American lives were saved through transplants of stem cells. I’ve covered some other aspects related to this topic on my website, Cord blood information – please let me know if you find them useful.

    Regards,

    Michael Rad