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Chinese Parents Favor Saving Babies' Cord Blood

More and more Chinese parents have opted to save blood from the umbilical cord of their new-born babies in a blood bank in northeast China's Shandong Province.

Experts said saving cord blood is a form of life insurance, as cord blood has abundant stem cells which can produce red and white cells as well as blood platelets. The latter are indispensable for treatment of diseases as leukemia and cancer.

Experts estimated that the rate of having blood disease are four out of 100,000. A patient is less likely to suffer from rejection of blood transfusion if his own cord blood is used in medical treatment.

The cord blood bank service, which started last December, has attracted customers from Shandong and outside areas. A father from Henan, a neighboring province to Shandong, hand delivered his baby 's cord blood to the blood bank immediately after the infant's birth.

To save cord blood at the bank, parents must sign an agreement that stipulates the exclusive rights of the clients over a 12-year blood storage period. Should any outside parties need the blood, they must get prior approval from the blood creditor and pay a charge.

The storage fee for 12 years is 3,000 yuan (US$363.6).

The bank, possessing close to 6,000 samples of cord blood, is the country's largest center of its kind.

(People's Daily October 18, 2001)

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