|DOH Home >> Press Releases|
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
For Further Information Contact:
The campaign is part of Governor Richard J. Codey’s initiative to advance
“More often than not, this rich stem cell source is discarded as medical waste after childbirth. But this holds too much promise to simply destroy,” said Codey. “This pioneering initiative will enable us to pursue all options and let science point the way to stem cell cures, offering hope to the millions of people that suffer from life-threatening conditions.”
At The Valley Hospital in
Umbilical cord and placental blood is a rich source of stem cells that can be used to treat leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening conditions. However, for medical treatments to succeed, stem cells must be genetically matched to the patient.
“In a state as diverse as ours, it’s important that women giving birth learn about their donation options,” Commissioner Jacobs said. “When parents from many racial and ethnic groups choose to donate, they increase the chances that all New Jerseyans will be able to take advantage of life-saving treatments for disease.
“By donating, you can also advance stem cell research into potential new treatments for deadly or debilitating health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Jacobs added.
Following birth, a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta are usually discarded. When a mother chooses donation, the health care provider collects cord blood after the umbilical cord is cut and processes it for storage and later use. There are no health risks to mother or baby, who are not affected by the donation process.
Governor Codey directed DHSS to oversee two pilot cord blood donation projects, one in northern and one in southern
The pilot programs are being established at the Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program at Community Blood Services in Paramus, and the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in
Cord blood collecting hospitals in the north are:
Cord blood collecting hospitals in the south are: Cooper Hospital-University Medical Center in
As part of the $200,000 education campaign, the department is working with the Northern New Jersey Maternal and Child Health Consortium and the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative to train appropriate staff at the eight participating hospitals.
Educational materials have also been developed, including a brochure for the public that answers common questions about cord blood donation. The brochure may be viewed and downloaded at http://nj.gov/health/fhs/newborn/cordblood.shtml.
# # #
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360