Princess Kiko of Japan, who gave birth to a male heir today, has offered to donate the blood in the umbilical cord for transplantation to leukemia patients, Masao Nakabayashi, director of Aiiku Hospital in Tokyo told reporters.
Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko made the offer after she gave birth by Caesarean section on Wednesday morning. "We'd like to register it on her request," Nakabayashi told reporters. Experts say that the Princess' offer may help the public understand the issues involved with cord blood in a better manner.
Umbilical cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells that produce red and white blood cells. These cells are valuable to leukemia patients. To date, there have been 3,161 cases of cord blood transplantation in Japan.