A world-first trial is currently underway at Monash Children’s Hospital, investigating the benefits of using umbilical cord blood cells in premature babies to offer families hope for the future.
The trial is testing the feasibility of using a baby’s own cord blood cells to minimise long-term health complications for premature babies born less than 28 weeks of gestation.
Over 20 babies have been included in the clinical trial, with eleven babies so far receiving their cord blood cells.
The trial aims to bring hope to many families whose babies are born extremely prematurely and are at greater risk of major complications, including brain and lung complications, cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental challenges.
Monash Health Chief Investigator, Associate Professor Atul Malhotra recently spoke with Mike Amor from 7News about the breakthrough trial. You can watch the video on Twitter.
Dr Malhotra said, “Unfortunately, many premature babies go on to have lung, brain, heart and other problems, so what we hope is that by giving these cells, which are the babies’ own cells, back to them, we may be able to minimise those problems.”
7News also spoke to Dr Lindsay Zhou, Monash Health Neonatologist, and parents at Monash Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, whose child received his own cord blood cells after being born prematurely.