Aug. 7, 2005, 10:00AM
State’s first cord-blood bank opens its doors
SAN ANTONIO – The state’s first public bank for storing umbilical cord blood opened last week as part of a growing movement to increase the nation’s supply.
Cord blood, which is removed from the umbilical cord and placenta after a woman delivers a baby, is full of blood-producing stem cells that can be frozen and used for transplants. Cord blood is considered easier to collect than bone marrow.
Such transplants could help the nearly 35,000 people nationwide who suffer each year from life-threatening diseases, according to the National Bone Marrow Program, which maintains a global registry of cord-blood units.
The Texas Cord Blood Bank is run by the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in San Antonio and is one of at least 20 such public banks nationwide. Bank organizers think its location in a heavily Hispanic region will benefit a population whose cord-blood supply trails other groups.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.