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Statements & Reports

Statements & Reports

Statement from Canadian Blood Services on National Public Cord Blood Banking Consultation Held June 1-3, 2007

At the request of our funders, the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health, Canadian Blood Services has been studying the feasibility of creating a national, public cord blood bank.

After extensive research, we came to the conclusion that Canada should have a national, public umbilical cord blood bank, and that Canadian Blood Services is in a unique position to be a partner in the establishment and operation of such a service.

To validate our assumptions, we conducted a stakeholder consultation in Ottawa from June 1-3, 2007. Two dozen people representing patient groups, researchers, transplant physicians and operators of public cord blood banks were amongst the participants.

Over two and a half days, the participants shared their unique perspectives and expertise to shape the future of public cord blood banking in Canada. There was significant agreement on the following principles among others:

  • Canada does need to establish a national, public cord blood bank, and the time to begin is now
  • Canadian Blood Services is a logical partner in this venture, given its experience with stem cell collection, processing, storage, its existing link to world stem cell registries through the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry, its links to 700 Canadian hospitals and its current experience in the targeted recruiting of blood and marrow donors in Canada.
  • A public cord blood bank that best meets the needs of Canadian patients is one that is robust and reflects the ethnic diversity of the Canadian population
  • Canada has an ethical and moral obligation to contribute to the international provision of cord blood stem cells
  • The coexistence of public and private banks will not adversely affect each other
  • The cord blood bank should be accredited by Health Canada and the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), and adhere to the highest international standards for quality and safety

These and other recommendations will be forwarded to the Provincial and Territorial Deputy Ministers of Health for their review later this month. The issue will have to be evaluated against other healthcare priorities facing their provinces and territories.

This web site will be updated as developments on the national public cord blood bank file occur.

About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories (outside of Quebec) and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. A dedicated team of 4,300 staff and 17,000 volunteers enable us to operate 36 permanent collection sites and more than 14,000 donor clinics annually. Canadian Blood Services is a non-governmental organization, however the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding, and the federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.