Korean J Blood Transfus.  2022 Aug;33(2):114-117. 10.17945/kjbt.2022.33.2.1 1 4.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Cord Blood Banks in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Dong-A University Hospital Public Cord Blood Bank, Busan, Korea
  • 2Department of Health Science, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact worldwide, making it difficult to transplant unrelated hematopoietic stem cells. On the other hand, cord blood transplantations in Korea increased during the pandemic. In 2021, the release of 110 cord blood units and 83 cord blood transplantations were performed. Cord blood transplants have increased by 35% compared to the pre-pandemic period (average of 58 cases over four years vs. 78 cases over two years). This phenomenon is not only occurring in Korea. In France, cord blood transplantation in 2020 increased by 19% compared to the previous year. The cord blood is the blood in the umbilical cord and placenta that would be discarded during childbirth but can be used as a useful source of hematopoietic stem cells in the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it is essential to collect and store high-quality cord blood continuously because of the high likelihood of developing various therapeutic agents using cord blood.

Keyword

Cord blood; COVID-19; Transplantation; Stem cell
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