Sen. Jacobs’ “Cord Blood” Transplant Center Bill Signed into Law; “Children and Adults Might Now Be Saved From Life Threatening Diseases”

From the office of Sen. Nancy Jacobs:

An elementary school child faces a bleak future due to sickle cell anemia…yet his life is saved by a transplant of his older brother’s umbilical cord blood, saved and stored at birth. That happened in a hospital in another state, but using these stem cells to save Maryland patients has been difficult and expensive for families here. Transplants for adults can only be performed in other states like Texas and California. Now the costs will go down and Maryland families may soon be able to have those transplants performed right here. Senator Nancy Jacobs, Minority Leader, sponsored a bill to do that and it’s signed into law today by the Governor.

Cord blood transplants have been very successful for a number of diseases including leukemia and sickle cell anemia. In October Mercy Medical Center began allowing families to donate their baby’s cord blood at birth. Three medical facilities in the state are approved by the National Marrow Donor Program to perform cord blood transplants, but two were not interested in making that treatment available to adults and the third, NIH only treats patients as part of a clinical trial. With this new law private funding and grants will be available to make that a more appealing option for those hospitals.

Senator Jacobs first passed a bill requiring Maryland mothers be told when delivering their babies that they could donate cord blood. This is another major step forward in saving the lives of Marylanders who could be saved by those donations.

Comments

  1. Dan says

    I remember when my kids were born they gave us a pamphlet before hand that explained the benefits of having “cord blood” banked. It was a service provided by a private company that would collect and store the blood for 25* years for $5,000*. I would have loved to do it but $5,000* is a lot of money (it not covered by insurance) for something where there’s a 99% chance you won’t need it. But if you do windup needing it, it’s worth 100x that amount.

    *estimates based on what I think I remember.

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    • says

      Dan,you are absolutely correct. The first bill I passed on the issue was to require that literature be provided to pregnant couples that these cord blood services are available. It was more of an educational tool to raise awareness of the medical value of cord blood.

      The only people offering such services were private facilities and the cost was almost prohibitive for most families.

      With the passage of this legislation, private funding and grants will be available to make it a more affordable for families who wish to bank their child’s cord blood. And hospitals in Maryland will be able to provide this service!

      I’m excited because of the great advances that are being made with the use of cord blood. I’ve met numerous families whose children’s lives have been saved because they were able to bank their older child’s cord blood and it saved the life of a younger sibling who had sickle cell anemia. Only wealthier families could afford to do this through private banking. With the passage of this law, private funding and grants will be available.

      Thank you so much for your interest in helping to spread the word about the value of cord blood stem cells that will now be available to ALL Maryland families.

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  2. curious one says

    I think the concept here is that families can “donate” their newborns’ cord blood. It would then be banked and eventually matched to needy recipients- something like bone marrow donation? I think it is an idea whose time has come… I agree, that for most young families the private banking is just too expensive. I remember thinking about this when my grandchild was born.It seemed such a waste to let that especially rich source of stem cells go.

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  3. Qualified says

    Our daughter looked into it when her son, my grandson was born, about 5 years ago. The cost at that time was $8,000. Not in the afford area.

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