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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2000 Apr;25(8):899-905.

Development of a district Cord Blood Bank: a model for cord blood banking in the National Health Service.

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University of Bristol Division of Transplantation Sciences, Bristol, UK.


The Bristol Cord Blood Bank was established as a pilot project within existing health services to establish cost-effective recruitment, collection and processing suitable for use in the NHS should cord blood become a routine source of haemopoietic stem cells for transplantation in the UK. An important aim of the project was to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a midwifery-based collection network, thus utilising expertise already in place. Collection was performed on the delivery suite immediately after the placenta was delivered. The clinical experience of the midwife collector/counsellors allowed rapid pre-collection assessment of the condition of the cord and placenta. This prevented collection attempts from diseased or otherwise damaged placentas, leading to conservation of resources by preventing collection of most small volume donations. The bank was established within the National Blood Service, Bristol Centre to achieve Good Manufacturing Practice standards and ensure that processing was subject to the same stringency required for other sources of haemopoietic stem cells. Cord blood is an expensive resource. By utilising existing expertise in district Obstetric and National Blood Services, the Bristol Cord Blood Bank may serve as a model for health economic evaluation of cord blood banking of volunteer donations within the NHS.

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