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Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Advocated

Authors say delayed clamping permits transfer of important stems cells from placenta to newborn

THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Umbilical cord clamping at birth should be delayed for a few minutes, or until the cord stops pulsing, to permit transfer of important stem cells from the placenta to the newborn, according to a review published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Jose N. Tolosa, M.D., of the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues reviewed the literature on early versus late clamping of the umbilical cord, which is still controversial. They write that early clamping (within a minute of birth) is still common practice to facilitate resuscitation and stabilization of newborns. Increasingly, however, researchers have advocated delayed clamping to permit the transfer of blood from the placenta containing hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cell precursors, mesenchymal progenitors and multipotent/pluripotent lineage stem cells.

The authors conclude that these stem cells can provide benefits in case of neonatal diseases (such as respiratory distress, anemia, sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage, and periventricular leukomalacia), as well as long-term benefits against age-related diseases.

"We therefore propose based on the current literature that delayed cord blood clamping should be strongly considered in all healthy babies and when safe to do so in preterm babies. At the same time, we do not wish to discourage the collection of umbilical cord blood and hope that future studies will show that delayed cord clamping and cord blood collection do not have to be mutually exclusive," the authors write.

Two study authors are associated with Saneron CCEL Therapeutics Inc., which is developing umbilical cord blood-derived treatments for neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders.

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