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Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1998 May 2;128(18):689-95.

[Umbilical cord blood transplantation: acceptance of umbilical cord blood donation by pregnant patients].

[Article in German]

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Universitäts-Frauenklinik Basel.



Umbilical cord blood is an alternative source for allogeneic transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells from related and unrelated donors. It can easily be collected, cryopreserved and stored in cord blood banks for later use. In Switzerland, cord blood banks for related and unrelated stem cell transplantation are being established. The aim of the study was to evaluate previous knowledge of the possible medical use of cord blood and acceptance of cord blood banking in pregnant women.


We performed a prospective open study using a structured, anonymous questionnaire at the University of Basel Women's Hospital pregnancy outpatient clinic. After concise information on the use of cord blood for transplantation, questions were asked concerning previous knowledge of the use of placenta and cord blood in general, concerning the attitude to donation of cord blood for transplantation, and the respondent's willingness to donate cord blood of her own child. Women of different ethnic background were compared.


From 300 questionnaires handed out to pregnant women of different ethnic background attending our outpatient clinic, 250 (83%) were returned, and 245 could be evaluated for final analysis. Only 40% indicated that they did know what usually happens to the placenta after birth. In contrast, the vast majority (95%) supported the idea of umbilical cord blood for banking and later use for stem cell transplantation. Similarly, 93% stated that they would agree to donate the cord blood from their own child for this purpose, while no statistically significant differences could be identified either between women with or without previous knowledge or of different ethnic background.


This study shows the high acceptance of umbilical cord blood donation for banking and stem cell transplantation purposes in pregnant women, irrespective of previous knowledge. As there are no major differences between women of different ethnic background, a high degree of diversity of HLA-types of donated cord blood samples can be expected and may offset the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in bone marrow donor registries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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