Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cord Blood Donation

Whilst on the topic of Donate Life Week - running from 31st July - 7th August - I thought it would be a great time to briefly talk about cord blood donation.

My personal view, as with organ donation, is that if I am finished using it, then whoever needs it can have it.

I first became aware of cord blood donation back in 1993 when it was an option looked at to help save my nephew's life.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the match it needed to be, but the story still ends well. You can read it here.

Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta that your unborn baby uses up until birth.  Once your baby is born, in most cases, the umbilical cord and placenta are discarded.  You can however choose to donate your baby's cord blood.

My first son was born at Royal Prince Alfred Womens and Babies (RPA) which is one of the hospitals registered as a cord blood collection centre.  I had wanted his cord blood donated but because he was an emergency caesarian it was unable to happen.

My second son however was a much more orderly birth, also at RPA.  I had made known my request for donating his cord blood so the collection team were on hand to take the umbilical cord and placenta soon after his birth.

The cord blood collection team rang me the following day to say the blood taken from the cord was just shy of the amount needed to donate to someone.  His cord blood would therefore be used for research.  They apologised that it could not be used for a donation.  Are you kidding me? He was still helping someone.  Or many!  The fact my son's cord blood could be used for research could potentially save countless lives.  I was not upset in the slightest.

To save a life or lives on the very day he drew his first breath?  What greater gift is there that my son could give?

If you would like to find out more about cord blood donation, you can do so here.
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