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May 2013 Every 18.5 seconds, someone in America suffers a brain injury. Across the US, 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Another 795,000 individuals sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) from non-traumatic causes each year. A brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone - a brain injury does not discriminate. In the blink of an eye, a brain injury changes the way we think, talk, move and feel.
May 2013 Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered to be a major cause of disability and death worldwide, especially in children (as a result of falls and playground injuries), soldiers (from blasts and accidents), and the elderly (falls and stroke). The incidence of TBI is 235 per 100,000, with a worldwide mortality of about 1.5 million per year, and in the USA more than 5 million people are coping with disabilities from TBI at a cost of $60 billion a year.
Apr 2013 This month the Canadian Blood Services is scheduled to launch a program to collect cord blood donations for a national public bank. Coinciding with this momentous occasion, the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation has expanded its searchable map of donation hospitals, from just the US, to cover all of North America donation sites.
Apr 2013 It took 2.5 years to reach the first 1000 members, 9 months for the 2nd thousand to join, 6 months to bring in the 3rd thousand, another 6 months to reach the 4th thousand mark, and I expect we'll see the 5th round of one thousand members joining in just 5 months. Approximately a third of the members have 'senior' or 'CxO' titles, 24% are in research, and 27% are at the manager or director level.
Apr 2013 Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that follows ventilator and oxygen treatment for acute failure to breath in babies born very prematurely (24-28 weeks of gestation instead of 40). BPD is a major complication of prematurity with a short and long term burden that reach into adulthood. Each year, 10,000 new babies suffer from BPD in the US. The economic burden is estimated at $6 billion/year, representing up to one fourth of all direct pediatric health care costs. Damage to the still developing lung stops the normal growth of the alveoli (the air sacs in the lung that allow the uptake of oxygen and release of waste carbon dioxide). Currently there is no treatment for this disease.
Mar 2013 This case report describes a novel stem cell transplant that we performed for a girl with Fanconi anemia. Children with Fanconi anemia have genetic defects that prevent normal DNA repair. The disease leads to bone marrow failure, and also to acute leukemia and solid tumors. The only long-term solution for the marrow failure is a transplant with normal blood-forming stem cells, either from a bone marrow donor or a cord blood donor. The very first cord blood transplant in the world was performed in 1988 for a child with Fanconi anemia.
Mar 2013 Susan K. Stewart was in the prime of her life when, at age 38, she was told she had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. "I was stunned", recalls Stewart. "I had no idea what a bone marrow transplant was or even why bone marrow was important."
Mar 2013 When a patient needs a stem cell transplant, the physician's goal is to find donor stem cells that match the patient's Human Leukocyte Antigens, also known as HLA type. The ideal donor is a sibling who is an exact match, but only about 30% of patients can find a matching donor in their family. The next best thing is a matching unrelated donor (MUD) of bone marrow. But here too, not all patients can find a match. It is especially difficult for patients of African descent or mixed ancestry to find matching bone marrow donors. At this point, the next step is to look for a cord blood donation that is a close enough match.
Feb 2013 Many parents elect to save their newborn infant's umbilical cord blood in either a public cord blood bank that accepts free donations or a family cord blood bank that charges for private storage. Typically the first step towards banking cord blood is when the mother receives a collection kit that she must safeguard and have ready at the time of birth. This article explains the contents of collection kits and gives parents advice on how to keep them safe.
Feb 2013 Hearing those words from a doctor's mouth is completely devastating and immobilizing, often spurring the feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, fear and helplessness. Those words are spoken far too often. Every 15 minutes, a child is born with a congenital heart defect (1). Despite the prevalence of congenital heart defects, public awareness and funding for research remains dismal. With a lack of resources and research, parents facing new diagnoses are often left in the dark, with little hope from even the medical community at large. In December of 2010, ten women came together to change that stigma - to offer hope in the midst of darkness.