Representative Jason Perillo (R-113), Ranking Member of the legislature’s Public Health Committee and Rep. Larry Miller (R-122) today joined the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, members of the Cord Blood Task Force, and Senate Minority Leader ProTempore Len Fasano (R-34) in announcing that the Connecticut Cord Blood bank is on its way to becoming a reality.
During the 2009 legislative session the Public Health Committee championed legislation requiring doctors to inform pregnant women about their cord blood banking options. This year the group has put forward legislation making a public cord blood bank program available to families in Connecticut. If approved this would be the first public cord blood bank in the state.
“We are on the verge of making critical life-saving procedures more widely available through the Cord Blood Bank,” said Representative Jason Perillo, Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee and former Chief of Shelton’s Echo Hose Ambulance Company. “This has the potential to offer some important options to those who are suffering from some of the most serious and debilitating diseases. This Bank represents real hope for their treatment.”
Representative Larry Miller, who had a personal success story with stem cell treatment which saved his life, said the advancements that have been made in this kind of therapy are astounding. “The fact that this life-giving potential could soon be available through the Connecticut Cord Blood Bank is a tremendous development. Patients who are looking for a donor match for a stem cell transplant will have a larger pool or resources to find that critical match that can be the difference between life and death.”
Cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord after the cord has been cut. Doctors have discovered that cord blood, like bone marrow, is a rich source of unique stem cells that can be used in medical treatments. Stem cells are the body’s “master” cells and can become any type of cell in the human body.
Cord blood banking is an opportunity for parents to collect and preserve the stem cells from their baby’s umbilical cord blood for potential medical uses. A newborn child’s umbilical cord is rich with the unique cells.
The Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed legislation on Wednesday, March 2nd, in the Legislative office Building in Room 1D at 10:00 AM.