As the result of a new law passed recently by the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has posted downloadable information on their website to help expectant parents make informed decisions about participating in umbilical cord blood banking programs.
HB 102 requires the ODH to make such information available to physicians, nurses and physician assistants, who provide health care services that are directly related to a woman's pregnancy . The ODH is also required by the legislation to encourage healthcare providers to give this information to pregnant women before their third trimester.
The law grants healthcare providers and institutions immunity from civil liability, criminal prosecution, and professional disciplinary action by the State Medical Board or Board of Nursing, if the professional or institution acts in good faith with respect to providing the publications to a pregnant woman.
The term “cord blood” refers to blood that is drawn from the umbilical cord and the placenta after a baby is born. Unless parents decide otherwise, these blood cells are discarded as medical waste. Cord blood is collected because it contains stem cells, which have the ability to renew themselves. These cells offer lifesaving medical benefits and are different from both the embryonic stem cells in a fertilized egg and stem cells obtained from a child or adult person.
“A growing percentage of stem cell transplant patients are receiving cord blood to cure more than 70 diseases,” ODH Director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D. said. “Seventy percent of patients who need a transplant of blood-forming stem cells do not have a matching donor in their own family, and their physician must search public registries of donors.”
Click here to see a copy of HB 102 Umbilical Cord Blood. For more information about umbilical cord blood banking programs or to download publications click here: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/cfhs/cord/blood.aspx