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Monday 24th October 2016

Branson upsets midwife

2nd February 2007

Sir Richard Branson’s plans to collect umbilical cords for a stem cell blood bank have not impressed a leading midwife.

Sue Jacob, from the Royal College of Midwives said that she and her colleagues are too busy in a live birth situation to worry about collecting umbilical cords.   She added, "You have got the third stage of the labour where there is quite a high risk of some of the mothers bleeding so you want to concentrate on her and this is just additional."  The third stage of labour is when the placenta is born and can leave women exposed to risks such as retained placenta and haemorrhaging.

Sir Richard announced his plans to set up a blood bank reaped from umbilical cords last week.  He hopes to use the cords for future stem cell therapy.  Stem cells are capable of regenerating new bone marrow, which makes them crucial for treating blood cancers and immune disorders.  The famous businessman plans to charge parents £1,500 to collect and store their children’s cells for 20 years.

Responding to Ms Jacob’s comments, Sir Richard argued that most births are quite straightforward and collecting the umbilical cords would not cause midwives any problems.


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