AAP Revise Policy Statement on Cord Blood Banking

Public cord blood banking recommended; physicians should be able to explain benefits and limitations
Public cord blood banking recommended; physicians should be able to explain benefits and limitations

HealthDay News — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released new information to guide pediatricians, obstetricians, and other health care providers in responding to parents' questions about cord blood donation and banking, according to a policy statement published online October 30 in Pediatrics.

William T. Shearer, MD, PhD, from Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and colleagues updated the AAP's 2007 policy statement due to new applications for transplantation of the hematopoietic cells contained in cord blood, including for malignancies, hemoglobinopathies, primary immunodeficiencies, and metabolic diseases. 

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The policy statement recommends public cord blood banking for collecting, processing, and using cord blood cells. Physicians need to be able to explain concepts of autologous and allogeneic use of cord blood units, as well as benefits and limitations of blood banking and transplantation. Underserved ethnic minorities should be recruited for cord blood donations. In addition, the statement provides recommendations regarding appropriate ethical and operational standards (including informed consent policies, financial disclosures, and conflict-of-interest policies) for physicians, institutions, and organizations that operate or have a relationship with cord blood banking programs.

"The information on all aspects of cord blood banking gathered in this policy statement will facilitate parental choice for public or private cord blood banking," write the authors.

One author formerly served as a consultant for Sigma-Tau.

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