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Should Storing Cord Blood Be Standard?

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TORONTO (Reuters) -- Public or private? That's the controversial question being asked about a potentially life-saving practice in which cord blood -- the blood collected from a newborn's placenta and umbilical cord -- is stored for future use.

Because cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, it is one of three possible sources of blood-forming cells used in transplants, along with bone marrow and circulating blood. One of the advantages of cord blood, which is frozen and stored in either a public or private bank, is that there is evidence that the donor/recipient match doesn't have to be as exact as it does for bone marrow and circulating blood.

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