St. David's Medical Center First in Austin to Become Certified Cord Blood Collection Center
AUSTIN —On Feb. 14, 2012, St. David’s Medical Center became the first hospital in Austin to join the Texas Cord Blood Bank’s (TCBB) cord blood collection program. The TCBB, a division of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC), is a nonprofit program established by the Texas legislature in 2001 to collect umbilical cord blood, which can benefit patients, usually children, suffering from a number of potentially fatal diseases.
“We are pleased that St. David’s Medical Center is the first in Austin to collect this life-saving resource at no cost to our patients,” according to Don Wilkerson. “By collecting cord blood donations, we have the potential to help save lives, not only in our immediate area, but also across the globe.”
Umbilical cord blood, which is typically discarded after the birth of a baby, is rich in blood-making cells that can be used as an alternative to bone marrow transplants to treat cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, disorders of the blood-making system such as sickle cell anemia, and severe immune-system disorders.
There is no cost to parents at St. David’s Medical Center who wish to bank their baby’s cord blood through this public cord blood program.
“Prior to the launch of this new program, parents often opted not to donate their baby’s cord blood because the process was costly and time consuming,” Laraine McIntyre, director of women’s services at St. David’s Medical Center, said. “Through the TCBB program, we take that burden off our patients. The only thing an expectant mother needs to do is to let her physician know her intentions prior to delivery.”
“With every addition to the public cord blood bank, the registry offers patients a better chance at finding a life-saving match. As ethnicity often plays a key role in finding a match, collecting donations from all ethnicities helps build a diverse registry that will benefit patients of all backgrounds,” Mary Beth Fisk, director of TCBB, said. “We thank St. David’s Medical Center for providing a central Texas location for parents to contribute to the life-saving registry.”
“I am thrilled the Austin community now has the opportunity to donate life-saving cord blood,” Craig Hester, member of Austin Advisory Council for Texas Cord Blood Bank, said. “So many people have worked hard to establish this partnership, and we’re excited to see the bank grow for those in need.”
TCBB’s first collections began in June 2005 at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, and new collection centers have since opened in other cities, including Brownsville, Dallas, Houston, New Braunfels and Waco, as part of the statewide effort to build a cord blood bank that captures the diversity of all Texans.
Other St. David’s HealthCare facilities are also exploring partnerships with TCBB.
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St. David’s Medical Center
St. David’s Medical Center is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. Founded in 1924, St. David’s Medical Center is a full-service medical center offering comprehensive medical care at three locations—St. David’s Medical Center, located at 919 East 32nd Street in Austin; Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Blvd.; and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, located in Georgetown at 2000 Scenic Drive. The three campuses offer a full range of medical specialties, as well as many other innovative health care services.
St. David’s Medical Center in central Austin includes a 350-bed acute care hospital and a freestanding, 64-bed rehabilitation hospital providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care. St. David’s Medical Center provides a complete range of women’s services, including its acclaimed maternity unit, maternal fetal medicine, a high-risk maternal and neonatal transport team, the region’s largest and most sophisticated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, The Breast Center, and a fertility center; is home to the internationally acclaimed Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute; NeuroTexas Institute (including the TIA Center for Stroke Prevention and designation as a Primary Stroke Center); complex surgical services; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; and a 24-hour emergency department.
St. David’s Medical Center was named to the list of 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare, in 2009 and 2010 (awarded in 2011). St. David’s Medical Center was the only hospital in Central Texas to be included on the list. For more information, please visit StDavids.com.
Texas Cord Blood Bank
Specially approved by the Texas legislature and the first in the State, the Texas Cord Blood Bank – a division of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center – is a source of ethnically diverse, life-saving umbilical cord blood. With more than 30,000 people currently waiting for a transplant to be found, donor families across Texas have turned the birth of one child – their child – into hope for families around the world. For more information, please visit SouthTexasBlood.org.