ViaCord and Prentice Women’s Hospital

According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 8 babies born in the US each year is born prematurely and 15 million babies worldwide are born too soon. Many of these little fighters will grow up healthy and unaffected by their early entrance into the world, however many will not. These babies are at an increased risk of serious medical complications and lasting disabilities including cerebral palsy, chronic lung diseases and vision and hearing problems. Over the decades medical providers have made advances in caring for babies born too small and too soon.

ViaCord and Prentice Women’s Hospital are partnering in a pre-clinical study to collect newborn stem cells from premature infants.

The study aims to establish the feasibility of collecting cord blood and cord tissue from premature infants for potential medical use. Newborn stem cells are being explored for use in the treatment of various conditions that are prevalent in children born prematurely. Understanding the volume and characteristics of newborn stem cells from premature infants can help guide this work and support banking the cells for potential future use for these children.
Families enrolled in the program will have their baby’s umbilical cord blood and tissue collected at delivery. Samples in the study will be processed by Viacord’s Processing Laboratory and are available for future use by enrolling families under the direction of a physician. A separate small sample of the cord blood will be collected at delivery and stored in the research lab at Northwestern University for additional analysis.
Who qualifies? Families who deliver infants at less than 33 weeks gestation. Only families delivering at Prentice Women’s Hospital will be eligible. There will be no costs to families for participation and banking of cord blood and/or cord tissue for 18 years.