|Eva was saved by a donation of cord blood like that donated by baby Darcey|
A scheme to store blood taken from the umbilical cords of newborns and use it to save lives has been launched.
Cord blood, like bone marrow, can help patients survive deadly diseases such as leukaemia.
For now, the Anthony Nolan Trust Cord Blood Bank can take cord blood at just one hospital, with plans for more UK collection centres.
Even so, the charity predicted the 50,000 expected donations over the next five years would prevent many deaths.
Cord blood provides a way to give a patient the ability to produce new blood cells after this has been lost through illness or aggressive treatment.
As well as patients with blood cancers, those with sickle cell disease and immune problems could benefit.
| The thing about cord blood is that it’s just thrown away – but it could save someone’s life
parent of cord blood patient
It contains potent “stem cells“, which, if placed back into the bone marrow, can start producing the right sort of cells.
The umbilical cord is normally thrown away after birth, so, unlike bone marrow donation, there is no discomfort or risk to the donor.