LifeSouth Celebrates National Cord Blood Awareness Month in July
July 15, 2021
Press release from LifeSouth Community Blood Centers
Every day, mothers make the lifesaving choice to donate their umbilical cord blood to a cord blood bank after giving birth. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Cord Blood Bank (part of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers) is working to raise awareness for cord blood donation during Cord Blood Awareness Month.
“At LifeSouth, we appreciate every donation and the positive impact it has on our community. Cord blood is a special type of donation that carries many unique properties, making it possible for local moms to share the gift of life with another family in need,” said Lorrie Woods, District Director of LifeSouth’s North Florida District. “Choosing to donate cord blood is a choice that takes only an instant and can change someone’s life forever.”
Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells. To date, more than 100,000 patients have received cord blood transplants since the procedure was first performed in 1987. Cord blood has surpassed bone marrow as a source for stem cells in transplants. Cord blood transplants can help treat more than 80 blood cancers, genetic diseases, and immune system and metabolic disorders, including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia.
“It is very rewarding when you find out that a child somewhere in the United States has had a lifesaving intervention thanks to the cord blood collection obtained at one of the deliveries that you attended. It is amazing that such a simple procedure can have such a dramatic impact,” said Eduardo I. Marichal, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology physician at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
Local mothers delivering at North Florida Regional Medical Center and UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., have the option to donate their umbilical cord blood to LifeSouth, which is one of only eight cord blood banks in the nation to be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the first in the Southeast.
During a cord blood donation, a medical professional collects the stem cell-rich blood from the umbilical cord after delivery. The process is painless for both the mother and child. There is no fee associated with donating cord blood. Cord blood can safely be donated by mothers who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Once a donation has been received and tested, it is securely stored by LifeSouth and added to the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be the Match® Registry. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Cord Blood Bank is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).