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J Cell Mol Med. 2010 Mar;14(3):488-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01029.x. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Mankind's first natural stem cell transplant.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division Neonatology, University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


The timing of the umbilical cord clamping at birth is still controversial. In the modern era of medicine, the cord has been clamped early to facilitate resuscitation and stabilization of infants. However, recently delayed cord clamping has been supported by physicians because it allows for the physiological transfer of blood from the placenta to the infant. Many clinical studies have revealed that the delayed cord clamping elevates blood volume and haemoglobin and prevents anaemia in infants. Moreover, since it was known that umbilical cord blood contains various valuable stem cells such as haematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cell precursors, mesenchymal progenitors and multipotent/pluripotent lineage stem cells, the merit of delayed cord clamping has been magnified. In this review, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of delayed cord clamping at birth. We highlight the importance of delayed cord clamping in realizing mankind's first stem cell transfer and propose that it should be encouraged in normal births.

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