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Umbilical Cord Blood, Should You Save It?

Silver Cross/UCMC physician discusses the facts Dec. 6

Joliet, IL (Nov. 17, 2010)— Umbilical cord blood can be used for stem cell transplants to grow new bone marrow and other tissues. Saving and storing your baby's umbilical cord blood means having it saved and stored for future use.

Cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It contains stem cells. These cells have the amazing ability to grow into many different kinds of cells (like bone marrow cells, blood cells, or brain cells) that can make them valuable for treating some diseases. Usually, the umbilical cord blood is discarded after birth. However, some parents are deciding to “bank” or store this blood for possible later use. The process is painless and involves draining blood from the umbilical cord after the cord has been clamped and cut. Storage banks preserve the cord blood in a frozen state indefinitely.

rubin“There is a lot of controversy around this topic, so it is important to understand the facts and implications before you decide to store your baby's cord blood,” says Dr. Charles Rubin, pediatric hematologist with Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago & Silver Cross Hospital. “This is a personal decision that only a mother can make.”

If another member of your family has a disease that could be treated with cord blood stem cells or if you have a family history of an illness that could be treated with cord blood, it may be wise to consider storage. You can also donate your cord blood to a public bank and it can be used to save someone else’s life. However, it is important to remember that banking cord blood is expensive. If there is no existing medical need, the chances of the blood being used are very low.

Expectant families are invited to join Dr. Rubin, on Monday, Dec. 6 at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, 1870 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  He will discuss the facts about Collecting & Storing Umbilical Cord Blood from 6:30 to7:30 p.m. Register to attend this free program at www.imatter.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

About the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health
The Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health represents a unique concept in women’s healthcare. The Center was the first in the region to provide an advanced level of diagnostics coupled with specialized care for women in one convenient location. The Center is located at 1870 Silver Cross Blvd. Set in a soothing, spa-like environment, the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health offers a variety of healthcare services designed around a woman’s needs and lifestyle. The Center’s crown jewel is full field digital mammography—the latest breast cancer testing available. In addition to digital mammography, the innovative center offers women diagnostic breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, bone densitometry, and baseline heart screenings. Take a video tour of the center at www.IMatter.silvercross.org.To schedule an appointment at the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, call (815) 740-7076. A physician’s order is required. If you don’t have a physician, call the free Silver Cross Physician Referral Service at 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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