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stem cell donation

(16 Posts)
user1455661447 Tue 26-Apr-16 19:10:05

Hi, I have a friend who has recently undergone a stem cell transplant. It took him some time to find a match and so it brought my attention to the fact that you can donate your baby's placenta and umbilical cord to help people who need it. I'm really keen to do this when I give birth and was wondering if anyone has any experience of it in London? How did you organise it? Also, do you think I should save it for my own child I case they need it in the future? I'd hate to think I'd given away a potential life line for them, but I also want to help others who might need it now. Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this! Thanks X

chaosagain Wed 27-Apr-16 10:53:32

We went to a talk on waterbirth at King's College Hospital recently. At the end of the talk 2 people from the Anthony Nolsn trust came down, spoke about it and handed out consent forms and leaflets to anyone interested. They said one of them was based on the labour ward permanently - so I'd start by looking at their website for info if I were you. Hopefully it will become a more standard thing to do and the banks will be fuller with time without any need to look into private storage for your own child. I'm due any day now (40+1) and plan on donating..

chaosagain Wed 27-Apr-16 10:53:49

Anthony Nolan!

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Wed 27-Apr-16 15:01:47

I'm under st George's in tooting and they also offer this service through the NHS blood bank. Obviously the cells would be available for everyone but after knowing people who's children were diagnosed were diagnosed with terminal leukaemia, including close family members, I'd rather the stem cells went to help someone rather than being incinerated as medical waste. If you can afford to have it done privately then it would be your child and family only but you're looking at a couple of grand to arrange that.

KeyboardMum Thu 28-Apr-16 10:49:54

I want to do this, unfortunately neither the NHS or AN cannot collect cord blood unless you give birth at one of the listed hospitals. Which is really frustrating because I don't really want to change my hospital and I know that my placenta and the umbilical cord are just going to end up in the medical waste bin.

They have deliberately targeted their resources so that they can collect from hospitals with the widest ethnic mix. This, combined with hospitals that have high delivery rates gives them the greatest variety of tissue types for patients. So I get why it is the way it is.

It just seems like such a waste.

Lovemylittlebears Thu 28-Apr-16 10:52:51

Wow I didn't know about this at all. Where can you find a list of hospitals that do this do I know if we have any more children?

KeyboardMum Thu 28-Apr-16 11:11:38

There's a donation form for the NHS here

Click the drop down to see if any of those hospitals are near you.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Thu 28-Apr-16 11:45:24

keyboardmum I agree, it seems a real shame it isn't just mandatory. If you can really save people's lives with what would otherwise just go in the bin it's crazy.

Allthefours Thu 28-Apr-16 11:48:26

I wanted to Do this and the hospital I gave birth at offered the service. I'd done all the paperwork so was just a case of someone being available in the day to collect the donation. Sadly there was no one available (despite having an elective section). Seems a bit pot luck really.

user1455661447 Thu 28-Apr-16 11:58:54

Thanks for all your help everyone. I'm going to be giving birth at queen charlottes in Hammersmith, so it doesn't look like it's covered, so I will have to arrange it myself. I think it should be a case of carrying a donor card at the birth, but so many people have not heard about it. Do you think it's better to pay the cost to keep it for your own family, or better to donate it?

KeyboardMum Thu 28-Apr-16 11:58:56

Snoopysimaginaryfriend exactly! It should be one of those things where you are automatically signed up to do it, unless you decide to opt out - a bit like the open register.

I think it's a lovely idea that the birth of my baby could help to save someone elses life. Feels like a really positive way to enter the world.

KeyboardMum Thu 28-Apr-16 12:13:31

Anthony Nolan collect from: Birmingham Women's Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester General Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, and King's College Hospital.

The NHS do: Barnet General Hospital, Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St George Hospital, University College Hospital, Watford General Hospital.

But the NHS won't come and collect your cord blood from a different hospital, even if you request it (I tried). I doubt AN would do it either as they have limited funding.

As for privately banking, you could go for that if you really didn't want to waste your cord blood. I don't really know how much it would cost you. I thought about it, but the likelihood of an immediate member of my family developing something like Leukemia is quite slim - as it is for most people. So you'd need to decide if it's worth the cost.

MrsMarigold Thu 28-Apr-16 12:26:00

I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy a few years ago and was asked if I would consent for the foetus to be used in embryonic stem cell research, I was treated at one of the aforementioned hospitals, I agreed. DH felt differently about it and was not keen but ultimately it was my choice and I consented. I still feel it was the right thing to do my parents who are very religious also felt it was the right thing to do. I thought it was more tricky to harvest fro the placenta but what a fascinating area of research.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Thu 28-Apr-16 12:32:24

mrsmarigold that was a very nice thing to do, especially when you are having to deal with all the pain and grief of a miscarriage.

allthefours that's a real shame. It's in my birth plan and I have told DH if I'm too out of it to remember that it's very important to me. After three miscarriages I'm just praying this one gets here safely and something good comes from her arrival in this world.

MrsMarigold Thu 28-Apr-16 12:35:39

Good luck Snoopy - good idea to put it on your birth plan. I hope it all goes well for you and your DD. star

Wineandpopcorn Thu 28-Apr-16 12:39:25

I donated, from St Mary's in Manchester x

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