The stem cells will be entered into the National Marrow Donor Program around the country. Once a woman makes a donation the stem cells are separated from the blood and at the same time the blood is tested to see if it is suitable for transfusion purposes. BD
Mercy Medical Center said Monday it has opened the first public bank in Maryland where women can donate the stem cells from their babies' umbilical cords to be used to treat diseases.
The Catholic hospital — which opposes embryonic stem cell research but not the use of umbilical cord stem cells — said about 10 mothers have agreed to donate umbilical cords after giving birth.
St. Agnes Hospital is also close to opening a public bank.
Once women donate the umbilical cords at Mercy, the blood will be drawn using a needle stuck in the main vein. The blood is stored in a bag, much like when a person donates blood. The stem cells are then extracted from the blood and tested to see if suitable for a transfusion.