Thursday, December 11, 2008
Medical Reports: Banking Blood
Nearly three million children and adults in this country live with type 1 diabetes, a disease that puts them at risk for kidney failure, blindness and heart disease. Seven's Diana Diaz shows us how banking blood is helping some of these patients live better lives.
WSVN -- Nothing stops 11-year-old Barrett Ross from playing the sport he loves, not even having type 1 diabetes.
Barrett Ross: "I'm just like a regular kid. I just get a couple more shots and a couple more pricks than other kids."
Barrett gives himself insulin shots and pricks his finger up to eight times a day. He also carefully monitors everything he eats.
When Barrett was first diagnosed, his parents enrolled him in a clinical trial testing umbilical cord blood infusions.
Christine Ross: "I contacted them immediately through e-mail and told them that Barrett was diagnosed within the last 24 hours and that we had saved cord blood."
When parents bank their newborn's umbilical cord blood, it can later be used for research. At the University of Florida, 20 children were given a one-time infusion of their own cord blood. Researchers say stem cells in the blood may slow the immune attack of diabetes so the pancreas destroys fewer good cells that produce insulin. Some of the kids who had the infusion required less insulin and had better blood sugar control.
Dr. Desmond Schatz: "It is very exciting. I take care of children with diabetes all the time. I know what it is that they go through."
Barrett used to take 30 units of insulin a day. After the infusion he needs less than 10, and after two years of diabetes, his body is still producing some insulin.
Brian Ross: "The results that we have experienced as a result of this study, in my mind are staggering."
It's just one more way Barrett proves nothing can slow him down.
Barett Ross: "Diabetes can't stop you from anything."
Diana Diaz: "All parents have the option of banking a newborn's cord blood, but it's expensive. About $2,000dollars up front and around $100 a year to store it."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Michael Haller, MD,
Melanie Fridl Ross, PR,