Banking cord blood stem cells: Attitude and knowledge of pregnant women in five European countries

Gregory Katz, Antonia Mills, Joan Garcia, Karen Hooper, Colin McGuckin, Alexander Platz, Paolo Rebulla, Elena Salvaterra, Alexander H. Schmidt, Marta Torrabadella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: This study explores pregnant women's awareness of cord blood stem cells and their attitude regarding banking options in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Questionnaires were distributed in six maternities. This anonymous and self-completed questionnaire included 29 multiple-choice questions based on: 1) sociodemographic factors, 2) awareness and access to information about cord blood banking, 3) banking option preferences, and 4) donating cord blood units (CBUs) to research. RESULTS: A total of 79% of pregnant women had little awareness of cord blood banking (n = 1620). A total of 58% of women had heard of the therapeutic benefits of cord blood, of which 21% received information from midwives and obstetricians. A total of 89% of respondents would opt to store CBUs. Among them, 76% would choose to donate CBUs to a public bank to benefit any patient in need of a cord blood transplant. Twelve percent would choose a mixed bank, and 12%, a private bank. A total of 92% would donate their child's CBU to research when it is not suitable for transplantation. CONCLUSION: The study reveals a strong preference for public banking in all five countries, based on converging values such as solidarity. Attitudes of pregnant women are not an obstacle to the rapid expansion of allogeneic banking in these EU countries. Banking choices do not appear to be correlated with household income. The extent of commercial marketing of cord blood banks in mass media highlights the importance for obstetric providers to play a central role in raising women's awareness early during their pregnancy with evidence-based medical information about banking options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-586
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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