Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cord Blood and Why I Am Going To Be Donating

Back in 2009 I decided to give blood for the first time. 
My Grandad was suffering from Leukaemia and I felt spurred on at the thought that 
although I was unable to help him, I could possibly help someone else that needed 
blood transfusions.

Around this this time I decided that I wanted to also sign up for the organ donation register so 
that when I do die I feel that I am least being able to have the chance to help someone else. 

I had to stop donating blood a few years ago after finding out that I have veins that like to disappear
as soon as a needle was inserted which made it hard to donate obviously. 

I still unfortunately have this problem as getting blood from me whilst being
pregnant to be tested, has been somewhat of a challenge.

When I got my letter in the post for my twenty week scan there was also a booklet and 
letter telling me all about donating cord blood once you have given birth.
This is something that I almost straight away decided I wanted to do. 

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after your baby is born. 
This blood can be used to treat many life threatening conditions.

After a baby is born normally the placenta and umbilical cord is thrown away.
However as it is such a rich source of stem cells the NHS cord bank was set up in 
1996 to collect, process, store and supply cord blood for transplants.

Once the cord blood can be processed and frozen it can be stored until a patient with matching
tissue type needs a stem cell transplant. Research shows that units can be stored up to 20 years. 

Mothers have to give consent for the cord blood and/or any part of the placenta is collected.
Without consent it will be thrown away, when giving consent for the donation the mother gives up
all future rights to the donation. 
There are 6 hospitals in the UK that have specialist trained staff able to be collected. 

It just so happens that the hospital we are planning to have our little one at is one of those six hospitals.

You can find out more information on what happens when you donate here 
and how to register here  

Have you given cord blood or plan to? 

 * I wasn't asked to write or given anything for doing this post

1 comment:

  1. I have the problem with disappearing veins as well, makes it so difficult. This is a good idea, it wasn't available when I had my son