Public Cord Blood Bank - New partner hospitals stand out



    MONTREAL, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Thanks to the continued commitment of its
seven partner hospitals, the Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank is rapidly
expanding. Since early 2009, the three newest members of the network have
performed exceptionally well. Their combined registration numbers account for
half of the Public Cord Blood Bank's annual registration objective.
    Hôpital de la Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval, Hôpital Saint-François-d'Assise
(CHUQ) and Centre mère-enfant (CHUQ), both located in Quebec City, shined by
respectively obtaining 668, 451 and 416 registrations with the Public Cord
Blood Bank, for a total of 1,535 registrations between January and April 2009
alone.
    Expectant mothers planning to give birth at Hôpital de la
Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval, Hôpital Saint-François-d'Assise (CHUQ) and Centre
mère-enfant (CHUQ) have had the opportunity to register with the Héma-Québec
Public Cord Blood Bank for several months now. When they sign up, the
attending physician provides expectant mothers with an information kit that
includes a health questionnaire and consent form, which are then forwarded to
Héma-Québec to complete the registration process.
    "We salute the participating mothers and the partner hospitals for their
commitment to the Public Cord Blood Bank, which is a collective resource.
Their spirit of giving will help improve treatments primarily for children
with malignant blood diseases, such as leukemia and anemia, and malfunctioning
bone marrow. Used occasionally in adults, in many cases, cord blood
transplants can save lives," said Dr. Francine Décary, Héma-Québec President
and Chief Executive Officer.
    Long considered biological waste, umbilical cord blood is now recognized
as a valuable source of stem cells-cells responsible for producing red and
white blood cells and platelets. With the consent of mothers who have
registered with the Bank, cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord
after the birth of the child, once the cord has been cut. This type of
collection poses no danger to either the mother or child.

    Who can participate?

    Expectant mothers who are in good health, are over 18 years of age and
are planning to give birth at one of the seven partner hospitals can register
with the Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank. The seven hospitals include: St.
Mary's Hospital, CHU mère-enfant Sainte-Justine, Royal Victoria Hospital,
Centre mère-enfant (CHUQ), Hôpital de le Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval, LaSalle
Hospital Centre and Hôpital Saint-François-d'Assise (CHUQ). To register or to
obtain more information, call 1-800-565-6635, extension 253, or go to the Stem
Cells section on Héma-Québec's website (www.hema-quebec.qc.ca).

    About Héma-Québec

    Héma-Québec aims to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe,
optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet
the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with
specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion
medicine and human tissue transplantation.
    Héma-Québec is 1,300 employees, some 2,000 blood drives and more than
300,000 blood donors every year, 16,000 partner volunteers and more than
450,000 blood products delivered to hospitals in Quebec annually to fulfill
the needs of patients.

    Give blood. Give life.




For further information:

For further information: Valérie Legault, Information Officer, (514)
832-0871, vlegault@hema-quebec.qc.ca; www.hema-quebec.qc.ca; Source: Laurent
Paul Ménard, External Communications Director

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Héma-Québec

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