Raising Cord Blood Awareness

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The Arizona Department of Health Services is launching an educational campaign to inform expectant mothers of the life-saving value of newborn umbilical cord blood. The effort is part of a new Arizona law requiring health professionals to inform pregnant women in their care about options related to umbilical cord blood.

''Our goal is to help pregnant women and their families understand umbilical cord blood storage and donation,'' said Department of Health Services Director Susan Gerard.

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Families have three options: discard the blood found in a baby's umbilical cord; donate it to a public cord blood bank to be screened for use by a person in need; or store it in a family cord blood bank for use either by the child or a family member.

The Department is providing health professionals across Arizona with informational pamphlets. They include information such as how cord blood is collected, and the costs, benefits, and risks of storing and donating cord blood.

Cord blood banking is a relatively new procedure that can save lives, and is completely safe for babies and mothers. It provides a unique biological safeguard, which can come in handy later in life.

According to Dr. Jordan Perlow, a nationally recognized expert on the uses and collection of umbilical cord blood: "The placenta and umbilical cord contain 'leftover' blood following the birth of a child.

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