Osler’s smallest patients are able to help save lives. New moms are now able to donate their babies’ umbilical cord blood at Brampton Civic for stem cell treatments. This is part of Osler’s partnership with Canadian Blood Services to help build a national public cord blood bank, which has the potential to help thousands of patients in need of unrelated stem cell transplants in Canada and around the world.
After the hospital’s cord blood collection room passed the testing and validation phase with flying colours, Brampton Civic officially began accepting donations on July 7. Brampton Civic is one of four hospitals – and the only community hospital – selected as a collection site by Canadian Blood Services.
The birth of a new child usually overshadows thoughts about what to do with the umbilical cord. But for some people, umbilical cord blood could give birth to hope for other parents. Umbilical cords and placenta – usually discarded after childbirth – are rich with blood-forming stem cells that can provide renewed life for someone with lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers.
“These are precious resources,” says Joanne Flewwelling, Osler’s Executive VP of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “Almost 1,000 patients are in need of unrelated stem cell donors at any given time. And only 50 percent are able to find a match.”
The sobering statistic is even lower in ethnically diverse areas, like the community that Osler serves. As Osler serves a growing and diverse community, collection efforts at Brampton Civic will be important. The efforts will benefit Canadian patients by providing additional opportunities to find a match and helping to save more lives.
Healthy pregnant women over the age of 18 will be able to donate their baby’s cord blood at Brampton Civic with signed consent.
For information on how to donate, visit www.blood.ca/cordblood.