MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota is finalizing an agreement with a blood bank in Missouri that would give parents the option of donating their baby's umbilical cord blood, a source of lifesaving stem cells.
Even though the university has been a pioneering center for cord blood transplants and stem cell research, umbilical cord blood donations haven't been an option for years.
The American Red Cross used to bank cord blood from hospitals in Minneapolis, Coon Rapids and Mankato, but dropped that practice six years ago. Efforts to maintain cord blood banking in Minnesota fell apart when federal grants went to states with more diverse populations.
The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/17Ev933 ) says a deal could be finalized Tuesday that would send cord blood collected at the university's Medical Center to the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com