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Data Released at an International Stem Cell Meeting Highlights Effectiveness of New Patient Education System Developed to Support Federal and State Guidelines on Cord Blood Education
Date:9/23/2009

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended in 2005 that pregnant women should be educated on the value of cord blood stem cells early in pregnancy so an informed decision can be made about cord blood banking. In an effort to improve education to expecting parents, 17 states representing nearly two-thirds of all births in the U.S. have passed laws to implement the IOM guidance on cord blood education.

Umbilical cord blood is a rich and diverse source of newborn stem cells that can be collected without ethical concerns in a ten minute window immediately after birth. This population of stem cells has been used to treat nearly 80 diseases and is a preferred source of stem cells for clinical research in regenerative medicine because these cells have demonstrated embryonic-like capabilities to proliferate and develop into all of the major cell types in the body.

In parallel to the survey data collection, Cord Blood Registry invited physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to provide input and perspective on the program. To date, nearly 7,000 healthcare providers have reviewed the on-line education program.

"It's great to finally have an up-to-date, easy-to-understand resource to direct my patients to as they are weighing their cord blood options," said Kelly Harkey, MD, MPH, an obstetrician and gynecologist based in California, which was one of the first states to focus on cord blood awareness. "Because educating patients about cord blood is encouraged in my state, it's nice that at the end of the program, patients are able to confirm they've been educated, which ensures my practice is compliant with state legislation."

The content of the program is divided into segments including a description of cord blood stem cells, the collection and storage process, the use of cord blood in
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SOURCE Cord Blood Registry
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