Umbilical cord bank opens
OTTAWA—Canada’s first-ever public blood bank for umbilical cord blood was set to begin taking donations today at an Ottawa hospital.
Canadian Blood Services said its bank will let the public donate instead of discard umbilical cords, which are a rich source of desperately-needed stem cells.
The group said Canada is the only G8 nation that doesn’t have a national public cord blood bank.
It said once the bank is fully up and running, healthy pregnant women 18 years or older will be able to donate at collection hospitals in Ottawa, Brampton, Ont., Edmonton, and Vancouver.
Similar private banks already operate, but CReATe Cord Blood Bank founder Dr. Clifford Librach said the launch of the public bank taking donations for use in non-family patients will spread the word about umbilical cord donations.