Cord blood banks to expand their storage 45 times

September 28, 2015

TEHRAN — Iran’s cord blood banks storage is going to expand 45 times, by establishing a special council soon, Tasnim reported on Saturday.

Cord blood banks are facilities that collect and store the blood from within the umbilical cord and placenta which has the potential to treat various blood disorders.

Mahin Nikogoftar, an official concerned with cord blood banks, said there are two types of cord blood banks: private and public.

Public banks are free services which collect donated blood cords and use it for anyone in need, she explained, while private banks solely store the blood for the donor or the donor’s family.

2,500 blood samples are stored in the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization, 3,000 in Royan Institute, and 2,000 in Shariati Hospital public banks, she said.

In addition, 40,000 samples are stored in Royan Institute private bank. Such practice is not recommended by the medical community as the odds of using the blood by the donors themselves are pretty slim.

Cord blood banking dates back to 25 years ago in the world. In Iran private and public banks are six and five years old respectively, the official added.

Being kept in a good situation, the cord blood can be used for transplant over 20 years in case that the donor and the patient genetically match, she said.

After giving birth, parents can sign consent forms to permit cord blood donation. Currently four to five hospitals in Tehran offer the service.

Cord blood are useful in treating diseases that require stem cell transplants such as certain kinds of leukemia or lymphoma, aplastic anemia, severe sickle cell disease, and severe combined immunodeficiency.

In Iran blood disorders like leukemia, thalassemia, and anemia are treatable utilizing stem cells available in cord blood.

MQ/PA