Cord blood donation available at two additional metro hospitals

Beginning today, Menorah Medical Center and Shawnee Mission Medical Center have joined Saint Lukes Hospital's Cord Blood Program and now offer mothers the option to donate their newborn babys umbilical cord blood to help those in need of a stem cell transplant.

According to a news release from Saint Luke's Hospital, umbilical cord blood, like bone marrow, is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, which create all of a persons blood cells. Cord blood cells can be used in the treatment of leukemia, sickle cell anemia and dozens of other diseases. Cord blood stem cells are collected after the birth of a healthy infant and pose no risk to the donating mother or baby.

Through this partnership, our hospitals are helping increase the worlds supply of stem cell-rich umbilical cord blood and helping those who suffer from any one of 80 life-threatening diseases, said Bill Ward, director of the Cord Blood Program for Saint Lukes Hospital of Kansas City.

Prior to today, the Cord Blood Program at Saint Lukes Hospital, the areas only free cord blood donation program, collected and processed donations from the four metro area Saint Lukes hospitals, as well as Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

Since its inception in 2008, the Cord Blood Program at Saint Lukes has received more than 9,000 donations and banked 939 units of cord blood at the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank. Cord blood units are made available to anyone, anywhere in the world, who needs a stem cell transplant.

Cord blood collected from the hospitals is processed and cryopreserved at Saint Lukes before being sent to the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank, which distributes the blood units to hospitals upon request. Donations are made anonymously, and the process is safe, painless, easy and free to families. The cord blood is collected after the baby has delivered, so it does not interfere with the birthing process. The collection does not take place if there is concern for the safety of the mother or newborn.

For more information about Saint Lukes Cord Blood Program, click here.

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Cord blood donation available at two additional metro hospitals

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