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Vast Majority of Ob-Gyn Providers and Staff Support Patient Use of Unique Online Cord Blood Education Program

Monday, May 17, 2010 General News J E 4
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Data Presented at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting Shows Program Provides Patients with Sufficient Knowledge to Make an Informed Decision

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In an environment of rapidly evolving medical practice guidelines and increased demands, obstetricians and their staffs face the ongoing challenge of effectively educating patients on a wide range of important health topics with the most accurate, up-to-date information.  One such topic is the medical use of cord blood stem cells and the options for preserving a newborn's cells following birth.

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Survey data presented today at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Annual Clinical Meeting shows that more than 90 percent of obstetric providers and staff who reviewed a unique online education program would advise their patients to complete the program to become better informed about cord blood stem cells.  In addition, more than 90 percent of healthcare providers reported being satisfied with the program's ability to provide patients with sufficient information to make an informed decision about cord blood preservation options.  

The program, developed by Cord Blood Registry with input from healthcare providers, stem cell researchers and experts in public banking, follows the guidance of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which recommends that all expecting parents should be given fair and balanced information early enough in pregnancy that they can make an informed choice about the storage or disposal of their newborn's cord blood stem cells.  Since this policy was established, 20 states – representing 68 percent  of all U.S. births – have passed laws that align with the IOM's recommendation to promote broader cord blood education.  

"Educating expectant parents about cord blood banking is not just good health policy, it's good medical practice," said Dr. Thomas F. Purdon, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arizona and a past president of ACOG.  "The rapid progress being made in stem cell research underscores the importance of giving expectant parents the ability to save these cells for future family use or donate them for others with a medical need.  Unfortunately, in too many cases, cord blood specimens get discarded because parents haven't been informed."

To date, nearly 9,000 healthcare providers and more than 40,000 obstetric patients have completed the online education program, which is intended to alleviate the time burden on ob-gyns and their staffs to provide cord blood education to their patients.  Patients also expressed satisfaction with the program, with more than 95 percent reporting that they were more knowledgeable about cord blood banking after completing the program.    

"Because there are multiple factors patients need to consider before making a decision about cord blood banking, I think it's important to have a current and credible education system to support the in-office discussion," said Dr. Marra Francis, an ob-gyn and fellow of ACOG, who was an advisor on the study.  "This survey shows we can use a web-based program to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of patient education on this important topic and follow the guidance of current health policy."

In order to evaluate the program's effectiveness, CBR provided expecting parents and obstetric staff at U.S. facilities access to the online program.  After completing the program, all participants were asked to complete a survey according to their status – obstetric staff or expecting parent.

The online education program evaluated in the study includes information on the collection and storage process, the use of cord blood in current medical treatments, the latest information on new treatments in development, and the expecting patient's cord blood options.  The written content is accompanied by illustrations and video segments.  At the end of the program, expecting parents can document their decision and print out an informed consent document that the healthcare provider can include in the patient's file.  

About Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) is the world's largest and most experienced stem cell bank.  The company's primary focus is enabling parents to preserve the unique population of stem cells from their newborn's umbilical cord and to ensure the viability of the cells for medical use if needed by the child or immediate family member.  During the last two decades, CBR has processed and stored cord blood units for more than 325,000 newborns from around the world and has released more client cord blood units for specific therapeutic use than any other family cord blood bank.  CBR was also the first newborn stem cell bank accredited and is the most recommended by obstetricians.  The company's research and development efforts are focused on helping the world's leading clinical researchers advance regenerative medical therapies using cord blood stem cells as well as continuing to enhance its industry-leading technical innovations for stem cell collection, processing and storage that optimize quality and cell yield.  For more information, visit www.cordblood.com.

SOURCE Cord Blood Registry

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