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Home Industry News New rules for cord blood collection announced

New rules for cord blood collection announced

30th April 2008

New rules have been announced today for the collection of cord blood to ensure it is done in the right way by an experienced person.

The rules will come into force on July 5th and say that cord blood can only be collected by people with specialist training and on premises that meet essential standards.

Cord blood is collected in both public and private banks in the hope it could help treat a number of medical applications.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA), which will regulate collection, said it has heard of cases where fathers collected cord blood despite not being qualified to.

“We are introducing this regulation to make sure that the best quality samples are taken in the safest way,” said HTA chief executive Adrian McNeil.

“The worry is that if inexperienced people are involved, this will not be done at the right time and in the right way.

“The result is that the best samples may not be collected. It is also important for the midwife to be allowed to concentrate on the welfare of the mother and child.”

The regulation will ensure that staff have training in collecting cord blood; medical attention is not drawn away from mother or child during collection; and that a system is in place to make sure cord blood cells are traceable from collection to their use in treatments.

“We are pleased that procurement of umbilical cells now will be regulated by the HTA in the pursuit of quality,” said Professor Peter Braude, chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ expert committee on umbilical stem cell banking.

“There is clear evidence from the NHS Cord Blood Bank that collection conditions can influence the likelihood of stem cells being obtained from the umbilical cord blood samples collected.”

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