Many expectant mothers are advised to store their umbilical blood, but in the delivery room the blood from umbilical cords is often treated as medical waste.
The Beijing City Umbilical Cord Blood Bank said umbilical cord blood is recognized as a valuable biological resource in the medical community, and that it can be used to save lives.
As of May 31, the Beijing City Umbilical Cord Blood Bank provided 862 units of cord blood to treat diseases at 60 clinical hospitals both at home and abroad. A total of 814 patients were treated.
Millions of Chinese patients are left waiting for hematopoietic stem cell transplants each year. In Beijing alone, hundreds of thousands of units of umbilical cord blood are discarded each year.
The Beijing City Umbilical Cord Blood Bank was established in 1996: it was China’s first umbilical cord blood bank approved by the cord blood hematopoietic stem cell bank, and is the only legal storage center for cord blood in Beijing.
A spokesperson for the bank said it currently stores 230,000 units of cord blood, and that the bank advocates a “waste to treasure” method to store more blood that can benefit transplant patients.