Expectant mothers delivering at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., now have the opportunity to give hope to patients battling life-threatening diseases.
The military hospital recently began collections for public cord blood donations, a first of its kind for any military hospital in the United States. Expectant mothers will now receive information about donation several weeks before their scheduled due date. Donation is voluntary, confidential and available at no cost to the donors.
The program is in partnership with the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke University Medical Center. The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank is part of the National Marrow Donor Program's® (NMDP) network of public cord blood banks.
Donated cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after a baby is born. After the cord blood is collected, it will be stored at the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, listed on the Be The Match RegistrySM, and made available to any patient who needs a transplant.
Because tissue types are inherited, patients are most likely to match the tissue types of someone who shares their racial or ethnic heritage. As the largest army installation in the world, Ft. Bragg has rich racial and ethnic diversity. Adding to the diversity of cord blood units listed on the Be The Match Registry will help more patients find matches and receive the treatment they need.
In less than a month, Womack mothers have made 35 cord blood donations.
Additional information can be found at www.BeTheMatch.org/cord and www.cancer.duke.edu/ccbb/.