OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL GUMM
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2008
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm
Senate Approves Cord Blood Bank Plan; Bill
One Vote from Governor’s Desk
With a unanimous vote, the Oklahoma Senate gave its final approval
Tuesday to a bill that would establish a public umbilical cord blood
bank in Oklahoma.
House Bill 3060 – written by Senator Jay
Paul Gumm, D-Durant, and Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City
– would give Oklahoma families a way to donate umbilical cord
blood. The blood is often discarded as medical waste following the
birth of a healthy baby, but is rich in adult stem cells that can
be used to treat a variety of ailments.
“I believe umbilical cord blood will be the next great medical
success story,” Gumm said. “We have a responsibility
to see that Oklahoma families have access to life-improving and
life-saving therapies available from cord blood. This bill is a
critical first step in that effort.”
Umbilical cord blood currently is used to treat cancer, leukemia
and immune disorders. Researchers believe they can be used to treat
many other ailments, as well.
Currently, an expensive private cord blood bank is the only option
Oklahoma families have to preserve umbilical cord blood. The cost
– well into the thousands of dollars – is far beyond
the reach of most new parents.
“It is very expensive to preserve cord blood,” he said.
“The partnerships we have proposed in our bill can give every
Oklahoma family the opportunity to bank cord blood. This is about
saving and improving lives, and it is good investment for the state
and private donors to make.”
HB 3060 directs the state Health Department to create the cord
blood bank, subject to the availability of money appropriated by
the Legislature or given by private donors. In addition, doctors
and hospitals treating pregnant women would be required to educate
their patients about banking cord blood.
The measure also directs the state Health Commissioner to contact
existing cord blood banks about the potential for establishing a
collection site in Oklahoma. After gathering the information, the
commissioner would report to lawmakers in 2009.
Gumm said the potential for umbilical cord blood is amazing. Recently,
several network morning news shows reported the story of a two-year-old
boy with cerebral palsy. After an infusion of his own stem cells
during a clinical trial at Duke University, he is now showing fewer
signs of the disorder; his parents had banked his umbilical cord
“Every Oklahoma family deserves that same chance, and a public
cord blood bank will provide that,” Gumm concluded. “There
is no greater responsibility we have than to save lives and improve
life for those we can; making a public cord blood bank available
to Oklahoma families is a huge step in that direction.”
The bill was returned to the House of Representatives for consideration
of Senate amendments. If the House approves the amendments, the
bill will be sent to Gov. Brad Henry for his signature.
For more information contact:
Senator Gumm's Office: (405) 521-5586