Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Welsh parents stem cell gamble

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

This week looks like turning into an around the world trip via news stories on stem cells. From Barbados, we move onto somewhere with slighty less sunshine . . . Wales.

As in many countries parents are deciding to have their childrens' umbilical blood cells cryogenically preserved for future use. It's interesting to read that although the article focuses on the work of a private company, the same serice is offered by four hospitals in the UK on the Naional Health Service, i.e. as a free service provided by state hospitals.

Welsh parents stem cell gamble

May 14 2006 , Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday

More than 400 parents in Wales have paid £1,000-plus to freeze their babies' umbilical blood to preserve stem cells, which could one day be used to cure medical problems.

The growing trend for 'mother nature's health insurance' comes as scientists work on new ways to treat conditions from paralysis to Alzheimer's through the use of stem cells.

However, medical experts say the conditions that cord blood-harvested cells can treat are so rare and treatments at such an early stage, it is not yet worth mums and dads spending the money.

Smart Cells International, the leading private provider of the service, said 416 parents in Wales - compared to 92 in Scotland - had already paid £1,375 to have their child's umbilical cord frozen for up to 25 years. In the UK as a whole, the company has frozen 3,500 stem cell samples.

Only four British hospitals - but none in Wales - offer a similar service for free on the NHS.


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