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11/6/2014 Community Hospital

Moms, babies deliver hope through cord donation program

Hammond resident and new mom Jillian Narducy participated in the umbilical cord and blood program at Community Hospital after delivering twin daughters Abriella and Gabriella Gonzalez. Her donation to research can help other families affected by different cancers, Multiple Sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries or eye injuries.
At the Family Birthing Center of Community Hospital, new moms are sharing their joy by donating the gift of life to others after their baby’s delivery. Nurses in the Mom-Baby unit are offering new parents the opportunity to donate their baby’s umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord and placenta to research and transplantation. The non-embryonic stem cells can improve the quality of life for people affected by different cancers, Multiple Sclerosis, sickle cell anemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries and eye injuries.

“Cord blood donation is completely safe for both mom and baby,” said Labor & Delivery Nurse Manager Teresa Meece, RN, BS, RNC. “Blood is collected from the umbilical cord – not the baby – immediately after birth and sent to our partner Life Line. If the donation meets the criteria, it is matched with a patient in need. Our new parents have been phenomenal in their response to helping other families.”

Thousands of critically ill patients with blood diseases like leukemia and lymphoma are in urgent need of a life-saving transplant. Umbilical cord blood contains the kind of renewing or “healing” cells that can give blood cancer patients hope for a cure. Cord blood can only be donated immediately following baby’s birth and needs to contain enough blood-forming cells and be free from infection or disease to be used for transplant.

In the placenta, the amniotic membrane is the innermost layer. Amnion can be used to repair a damaged eye surface, heal diabetic wounds, serve as a temporary burn barrier and be used in breast reconstructive surgery, for example.

Stem cells from the umbilical cord itself are being used to research new treatments for autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson’s and Crohn’s. They are also used to make vaccines for epidemic viruses.

“We are pleased to provide this service to our moms who deliver at Community Hospital,” said Ronda McKay, VP Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer. “This program gives our families an option of donating cord blood if they choose.”

To find out more about the Family Birthing Center at Community Hospital, click here.
219-836-4582 Elise Sims, specialist Media/Public Relations Marketing & Corporate Communications esims@comhs.org