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Data Released at an International Stem Cell Meeting Highlights Effectiveness of New Patient Education System Developed to Support Federal and State Guidelines on Cord Blood Education
Date:9/23/2009

BALTIMORE, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite significant efforts by government agencies, consumer advocacy groups and industry to educate expecting parents about the medical significance of cord blood stem cells and the options for preserving them, three out of every four pregnant women still consider themselves only "minimally informed." However, data presented at an international meeting on stem cell science and policy found that a proprietary, web-based education system developed by Cord Blood Registry could be an effective and efficient method for improving awareness about all cord blood preservation options. In a survey of individuals who completed the education program, 93 percent indicated the program increased their knowledge and 95 percent indicated they were satisfied with the program overall.

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"The goal of this cord blood education program is to help physicians, and other labor and delivery specialists, provide expecting parents with scientifically-accurate information in a compelling format so they can make an informed choice about the options for preserving their newborn's cord blood stem cells," said Heather Brown, MS, CGC, vice president scientific & medical affairs at Cord Blood Registry. "This Web-based system offers many advantages in that it is accessible at any time of day, it's easily shared with spouses and other family members, and can provide documentation of the patient's education and informed choice, especially where public policy encourages or requires education."

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended in 2005 that pregnant women should be educated on the value of cord blood stem cells early in pregnancy so an informed decision can be made about cord blood banking. In an effort to improve education to expecting parents, 17 states representing nearly two-thirds of all births in the U.S. have passed laws to implement the IOM guidance on cord blood education.

Umbilical cord blood is a rich and diverse source of newborn stem cells that can be collected without ethical concerns in a ten minute window immediately after birth. This population of stem cells has been used to treat nearly 80 diseases and is a preferred source of stem cells for clinical research in regenerative medicine because these cells have demonstrated embryonic-like capabilities to proliferate and develop into all of the major cell types in the body.

In parallel to the survey data collection, Cord Blood Registry invited physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to provide input and perspective on the program. To date, nearly 7,000 healthcare providers have reviewed the on-line education program.

"It's great to finally have an up-to-date, easy-to-understand resource to direct my patients to as they are weighing their cord blood options," said Kelly Harkey, MD, MPH, an obstetrician and gynecologist based in California, which was one of the first states to focus on cord blood awareness. "Because educating patients about cord blood is encouraged in my state, it's nice that at the end of the program, patients are able to confirm they've been educated, which ensures my practice is compliant with state legislation."

The content of the program is divided into segments including a description of cord blood stem cells, the collection and storage process, the use of cord blood in current medical treatments, the latest information on new treatments in development, and the expecting patient's cord blood options. The content is accompanied by video segments and stories of how other families' cord blood banking decision impacted their lives. To use the on-line program, go to: http://www.cordblood.com/learn/.

About Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry(R) (CBR(R)) is the world's largest stem cell bank, focused on the collection, processing and storage of newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood and ensuring their viability for medical use. CBR is the most recommended family cord blood bank by obstetricians and was the first family bank accredited by AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks). The company has been profitable and cash flow positive from operations on a cumulative basis since 1999. CBR has processed and stored cord blood units for more than 300,000 newborns from around the world and has released more client cord blood units for specific therapeutic use than any other family cord blood bank. CBR is the leader in research and development efforts in collaboration with the world's leading clinical researchers focused on advancing regenerative medical therapies using a child's own cord blood stem cells. The company continues to enhance its industry-leading technical innovations for stem cell collection, processing and storage that optimize quality and cell yield. For more information, visit www.CordBlood.com.


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SOURCE Cord Blood Registry
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