A healthy donor pool of cord blood has to be well maintained to achieve donor supply self-sufficiency in cord blood stem cell. New donors should be attracted and recruited into the pool to compensate the loss from samples of a lower grade, which is used during transplants. Nevertheless, donors should consistently conduct recruitment and the retention from diverse populations. Such a move will ensure that the selected donors become the spokesperson as well as advocates for within their communities. This study reviews the status of donor recruitment and retention in the United Kingdom where the current difficulties in coping with increasing demand for cord blood-derived stem cells with advancement in regenerative and personalized medicine is highlighted. Moreover, the paper outlines the lack of knowledge of an ever-growing diverse population as well as a stringent donor eligibility criteria and quality requirement in the cord blood collection as factors that characterize the current situation in the United Kingdom. In this paper, a proposal has been put forward to tackle the challenging requirements of recruitment and retention based on the analysis of the donation patterns related to the data observation and collection at six NHS partnership sites.
Background of the Study
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Scientific evaluations have shown that umbilical cord blood is an effective substitute for bone marrow in the treatment of blood disorders (Gluckman, 2007). It is worth to note that most major countries in the world have public programs meant to assist in harvesting and storage of cord blood for allogenic transplantation. Private cord blood banks or Family banks have also mushroomed alongside public banks, which offer parents the opportunity to store their children’s cord blood for future use.
However, In the United Kingdom Private cord blood banking has been widely condemned by bioethical and medical professional bodies. The primary reason for objection is based on the anticipated little likelihood of individuals being in need of a cord blood transplant, which presents the option of public redistributive banking method as the efficient mechanism in enhancing the use of available resources. The same sentiment is affirmed in several publications and statements from organizations such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). Such bodies have reiterated the notion that there are currently no enough indicators worth recommending any routine private collection and banking of cord blood and that such measure requires medical-based and succinctly evaluated reasons.
Furthermore, the Human Tissue Authority’s (HTA) Licensing Framework and Quality & Safety Regulations outline the policy approach, the plans for the collection and the banking of cord blood. The framework allows only individuals and entities licensed by the HTA to collect cord blood in a designated area, which is supposed to be away from the places of delivery of a baby. Notably, until 2013, the Virgin Bank conducted several services but primarily, the NHS Blood and Transplant, as well as the Anthony Nolan Trust, controlled the Public Cord Blood donation program in the United Kingdom. Therefore, the concept of cord blood collection and storage in the UK is critical.
Gluckman, E. (2007). Immune reconstruction after unrelated cord blood transplant in adults.
Blood, 110(13), 4136 – 4136.