A new bill passed through the General Assembly today will lay the foundation for establishing a public cord blood bank in the state of Connecticut.
The bank will be operated through a partnership between Yale-New Haven Hospital and University of Connecticut Health Center John Dempsey Hospital, and will be financed by public and private donations.
State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) has been a longtime proponent of cord blood banking, and has raised awareness about the issue in appearances with the Cord Blood Taskforce and the GA's Public Health Committee.
Praising the passage of the bill, Fasano said, "The umbilical cord blood bank will be available to everyone in the state and more importantly will establish a central place for people to have access to a life saving medical alternative.”
Cord blood, retained in the umbilical cords of newly born children, contains valuable stem cells that can be used to treat numerous cancers, sickle cell disease, multiple sclerosis, and a host of other illnesses.
If cord blood is not banked following the cutting of the umbilical cord, it is typically discarded.
The new legislation aims to prevent such waste. Families can now opt to donate their cord blood to the bank for medical use.
"This is all about people helping people," said Dr. Winston A. Cambell of the UConn Health Center John Dempsey Hospital. "This bill gives people the options that will ultimately help their own family, fellow residents of this state or others from around the nation."
The bill is now before the Governor and awaiting his signature.