UK hospitals that offer cord blood collection will need licence from July

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 01 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:981
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1London

The fast growing practice of collecting blood from the umbilical cords of newborn infants is to be regulated for the first time in the United Kingdom. Cord blood, a source of very “naive” blood stem cells, is used to treat some types of anaemia and leukaemia and may hold promise in treating other diseases.

The Human Tissue Authority announced this week that all maternity units, whether NHS or private, that collect cord blood must be operating under a licence by 5 July.

An unknown number of private companies are currently offering a cord blood collection service. They …

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