For first time, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) has issued regulations for the collection of cord blood from the umbilical cord. The regulation announces that the the blood samples can only be collected by a trained specialist at an approved premises. Also the samples must also be traceable from collection to any use in treatments.

It can be mentioned that blood collected at the time of childbirth, is stored for future use. This process is gaining popularity all over the country as more and more couples are opting for it. Thousands of couples have already paid large sums to store samples because they are a rich source of stem cells and could potentially be used in the treatment of disease. Stem cells have the potential to turn into many different types of tissue, and in theory could be used to repair or replace damaged tissue.

The aim of HTA is to ensure the practice is safe for those people who want to press ahead anyway. To that end it will only grant a license if the applicant can demonstrate procedures that are in place. This will also help prevent any medical attention being drawn away from mother or child during collection. Adrian McNeil, HTA chief executive, said: “We are introducing this regulation to make sure that the best quality samples are taken in the safest way.”

Source: BBC NEWS