Oklahoma's public umbilical cord blood bank is up and running

Oklahoma Blood Institute's cord blood bank is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before the donations that it receives can be used to treat patients.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: January 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: January 28, 2014

If you see a 6-foot woman in scrubs and neon green sneakers hoofing it through OU Children's parking lot, best move aside.

Linda Dixon is on her way to a delivery room.

Once the baby is born, Dixon collects blood from the umbilical cord and heads back over to Oklahoma Blood Institute's public umbilical cord blood center.

She weighs the blood and takes one extra step before sending it to the lab.

“I always pray over my blood,” she said. “I know that sounds crazy, but I'm always like, ‘Please God, let this be enough stem cells.' I just want it to be enough stem cells that it will save someone's life and it makes a difference.”

Dixon is the cord blood manager at the Oklahoma Blood Institute's public umbilical cord blood center, which celebrated its grand opening Tuesday.

The cord blood bank is one of 24 cord blood centers worldwide, according to Oklahoma Blood Institute.

Oklahoma Blood Institute's cord blood bank is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before the donations that it receives can be used to treat patients.

They're currently in the process of testing their procedures to ensure they're following the protocols that would lead to FDA approval.

The donations they receive, for now, are used for testing purposes. OU Medical Center is currently the only birthing hospital participating, but the institute anticipates more hospitals will join them.

It's unknown how much it will cost to run the cord blood bank each month, said Charles Mooney, the vice president of quality management at Oklahoma Blood Institute.

The center is expensive to run because of the amount of time, effort and equipment it takes to separate the stem cells from the cord blood, along with the cost of keeping stem cells frozen — kept cold by liquid nitrogen.

The center opened through the use of private foundations and some state dollars, he said.

Hospitals will pay an estimated $20,000 for each stem cell donation they buy from the center, he said. Adults in need of a stem cell patient typically need two stem cell donations, and children need at least one, he said.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    State Department taps Texas lawyer to serve as ‘America’s ambassador to Muslims’
  2. 2
    Local authorities say they're unlikely to use armored vehicles should civil unrest occur
  3. 3
    Lee Corso drinks Stone Cold Steve Austin's beer, shoots guns on College GameDay
  4. 4
    OSU football: 'Trail of Tears' College GameDay sign condemned by university
  5. 5
    Erasing Your Bad Memories May Soon Be Possible
+ show more