CHOC Children’s Expands Plastic Surgery Services

A pediatric plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive plastic surgery has joined CHOC Children’s. Dr. Raj Vyas sees patients with a variety of complex conditions including clefts and craniofacial anomalies.

plastic surgery
Dr. Raj Vyas

“Care at CHOC is delivered in such a multidisciplinary fashion, allowing for complex higher-level discussions and nuanced treatment planning in both standard and exceptional circumstances. There is also an emphasis on safety and process improvement, both critical for a state-of-the-art facility serving a complex and diverse patient population,”Dr. Vyas says.

During his third year of medical school at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, the  Southern California native discovered that plastic surgery was his newfound passion.

“I unexpectedly fell in love with plastic surgery, particularly craniofacial surgery,” Dr. Vyas explains.  “My appreciation for the depth and breath of plastic surgery grew from my experiences during this rotation in medical school. I remember seeing a child with hypertelorism undergo a facial bipartition and I was fascinated.”

Following medical school, he completed a plastic surgery residency in Boston at the Harvard Combined Plastic Surgery Residency Program. He then completed a craniofacial surgery fellowship at New York University Medical Center, where he treated children and adults undergoing facial reconstruction for congenital anomalies or after suffering trauma and cancer. He also gained expertise in microvascular surgery and virtual surgical planning.

Dr. Vyas is working with the team at CHOC to build a multidisciplinary program in facial reanimation. By combining craniofacial surgery with microsurgery, he hopes to restore facial form and function in children and teens with facial paralysis.

“We have a great team at CHOC. Dr. Daniel Jaffurs has been an incredible mentor,” Dr. Vyas says. “My goal is to help make the program the best in Southern California and beyond.”

Dr. Vyas enjoys working with virtual scanning and 3D modeling technology available at CHOC, as it helps him plan and ensure optimal safety and precision before a procedure.

“Today, we are able to use cone beam CTs to significantly minimize radiation exposure while still obtaining high quality 3D imaging. This allows for virtual surgical planning that is both precise and extremely effective in reducing uncertainty in the OR,” Dr. Vyas explains. “In neonates with upper airway obstruction, for instance, who are scheduled to undergo mandibular distraction, we are able to customize bony osteotomies in a way that prevents injury to dental structures and nerves, while optimizing distraction vectors that improve the airway and maintain cosmetic considerations. We can also virtually anticipate the extent of facial movements and design custom splints that facilitate orthognathic (upper and lower jaw) surgery. The benefit of these types of pre-planned procedures are expanding as surgeons utilize this technology in a variety of craniofacial reconstructions.”

When this dedicated physician is not busy helping patients at the hospital, he volunteers with Global Smile Foundation, a nonprofit organization that treats children with facial congenital deformities in underserved countries. Most recently he went to Trujillo, Peru, where he helped over 100 patients.

“It’s so rewarding to work with children,” he says. “Their reconstructions have a long-life impact.”

Dr.Vyas is board certified in plastic surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Craniofacial Surgery, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and International Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation, among other professional organizations.

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Is Your Teen Sweating Too Much?

Sweating is a natural part of puberty, a time when sweat glands become more active and the body produces more hormones. It’s also how the body cools off in response to heat, exercise or emotional distress. Given the fact that sweating is something everyone experiences, perhaps even more so during adolescence, how would you know if your teen is having problems with it?

Teens experiencing excessive and/or unpredictable sweating may suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis. While fairly common, the condition can be embarrassing and impact everyday activities, from holding a pen to turning a doorknob. Emotional problems, including social isolation and decreased confidence, can occur. And some teens may face painful and irritating skin problems as a result of excess sweat. These symptoms warrant a trip to the pediatrician, who can provide more information and treatment options.

The cause of hyperhidrosis is not known, although some experts believe it may be tied to overactive sweat glands or genetics. Diagnosing the condition involves a physical exam, including a starch iodine test. Iodine is applied to the sweaty areas (armpits, hands or feet), followed by the application of starch. The combination turns blue in response to excess sweat. A paper test may also be performed. Special paper is placed on the affected area(s) and subsequently weighed to calculate the rate of sweat production. Blood tests may be done to rule out underlying medical conditions, based on the symptoms.

There are various treatment options for hyperhidrosis:

  • Prescription strength antiperspirant creams are often the first line of treatment because they are the least invasive. When applied to the affected areas, the antiperspirant is dissolved by sweat and pulled into the pores, forming “plugs” that can stay in place for at least 24 hours.
  • Iontopheresis is a treatment that involves using a medical device to pass a mild electrical current through water (shallow pans large enough for hands or feet) and through the skin’s surface. There’s been no significant or serious side effects reported, but patients must adhere to a maintenance schedule.
  • Botox has been approved by the FDA for use in treating underarm sweating. The botox is injected into the armpit, just below the surface of the skin, to temporarily block the secretion of the chemical responsible for activating the sweat glands.
  • When no other treatments work, surgery to cut the nerve that signals excess sweating or remove the sweat glands may be considered.

In addition to treating the physical symptoms associated with hyperhidrosis, it’s important to address the emotional impact the condition may have on your teen. Be sure to ask your child’s medical doctor about available mental health resources in your community, including possible support groups.

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Children and Tics: What Parents Should Know

People of all ages can experience repeated involuntary movements called tics, but they are most prevalent in children. Nearly one quarter of all children experience this genetic disorder that becomes most visible in school-aged children.

Common motor and vocal tics include:

  • Blinking
  • Shoulder shrugs
  • Neck twitches
  • Throat clearing or sniffling
  • Coprolalia, involuntary and repetitively utters obscene words

All tics tend to wax and wane in severity and frequency. The tics themselves can also change over time, says Dr. Mary Zupanc, chair of neurology and the director of CHOC Children’s pediatric comprehensive epilepsy program. This means that a child with simple childhood tic disorder can have repetitive eye blinking during one point in time, and during another phase, can have irregular but repetitive shoulder shrugging, and later, intermittent head twitching.

children tics
Dr. Mary Zupanc

Childhood tic disorders are very common in young children. It is a “spectrum disorder,”  with some children having only intermittent, isolated tics, and having multiple motor and vocal tics. If these tics last greater than one year, the diagnosis is Tourette’s syndrome, which is simply a more severe form of childhood tic disorder.

Preserving Self Esteem

“Tics alone will not hurt a child, but we certainly want to preserve a child’s self-esteem, and not allow them to be embarrassed by their tics. Vocals tics can be especially problematic in the school setting,” says Dr. Zupanc. “Often times, the biggest treatment of tics is reassurance to the child and family, in addition to providing education on when it is appropriate to suppress a tic or not. Family and child counseling are often important, so that the child maintains his or her self-confidence.”

Treatment Options

Medication may be recommended in some severe cases. Pediatric psychologists who have training in behavioral modification can help children learn to suppress a specific tic.

Tics often disappear around the time of adolescence in many cases of childhood tic disorders and Tourette’s syndrome, although there may be concurrent co-occurring health challenges that are more problematic, Dr. Zupanc says. Learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder frequently appear in tandem with either childhood tic disorder or Tourette’s syndrome.  These co-morbidities may require medications for effective treatment.

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Tips for Minimizing Scarring After Surgery

A child’s skin is much different than an adult’s skin, and has the potential to react to scarring much different than the way their parents’ might. In this episode of CHOC Radio, Dr. David Gibbs, a pediatric surgeon and the director of trauma services at CHOC, discusses tips for minimizing scarring after surgery, including:

  • Which children are more predisposed to scarring
  • What pediatric surgeons at CHOC do during surgery to help minimize scarring
  • What parents can do in the year after surgery to help mitigate scarring
  • Other advice for parents whose child is preparing for surgery

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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Know the Risks of Sunken Chest

Pectus excavatum, or sunken chest, is the most common congenital chest wall abnormality in children. Although some may think of the abnormality as purely a cosmetic problem, the limited chest cavity space can displace the heart as well as limit lung capacity, says Dr. Mustafa Kabeer, a pediatric surgeon at CHOC Children’s. Fifteen percent of patients can experience arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm) or mitral valve regurgitation, wherein the heart valves allow blood to leak back into the heart, as a result of the inward compression from the sternum.

sunken chest
Dr. Mustafa Kabeer, pediatric surgeon at CHOC Children’s

Surgery to expand the chest wall can eliminate many symptoms. The pediatric surgeons at CHOC perform a minimally invasive procedure that dramatically reduces the appearance of incisions and the time spent in the operating room. A small incision is made on either side of the chest, and a small camera is inserted for observation as the surgeon passes a thin, curved metal bar through the chest cavity below the sternum. When the bar is flipped, the sunken chest is instantaneously repaired. The bar remains in place for two years, and is periodically monitored by a pediatric surgeon. A historical approach to these surgeries involved a large incision across the chest, and up to six hours in the operating room as the chest wall was taken apart and then reconstructed.

The pectus excavatum team at CHOC is comprised of experts in pediatric pulmonology, cardiology and surgery. The multidisciplinary team performs various tests to examine heart and lung function, before and after surgery. By using the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery, along with recent improvements in pain management, patients are able to return home and get back to their daily activities sooner than ever before.

Although the cause is unknown, 40 percent of patients report a family history of pectus excavatum, and 40 percent of cases occur in tandem with scoliosis, says Kabeer.

Parents may notice an indentation in their child’s chest wall either when they are first born, or closer to puberty, when changes in the chest wall can become more pronounced.

“When pectus excavatum presents itself closer to puberty, it may be difficult for parents to notice, since teens or pre-teens are more clothed than they were as babies, so their parents might not see the change in their chest wall right away,” says Kabeer.

Warning signs tend to be subtle, but if your child experiences frequent shortness of breath, difficulty breathing during exercise, chest pain or light- headedness, or otherwise is not able to keep up with their peers, consult your child’s primary care physician, who may refer you to a pediatric surgeon or pectus excavatum specialist.

Learn more about CHOC’s surgical services.

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Meet Dr. Anjalee Warrier Galion

CHOC Children’s wants its patients and families to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Anjalee Warrier Galion, a pediatric neurologist and sleep specialist.

Dr. Anjalee Warrier Galion
Dr. Anjalee Warrier Galion

Q: What is your education and training?
A: I attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey- New Jersey Medical School, and completed my residency in pediatrics at University of San Francisco, Fresno.  During my academic year, I worked for Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to help identify a vaccine for malaria. My second day was September 11, 2011, and it was an amazing, humbling, and scary experience to be a part of the military for this day. My first fellowship was in pediatric neurology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and my second fellowship was in sleep medicine at the University of California Los Angeles- Cedars Sinai Sleep Medicine Fellowship.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?
A: Assistant clinical professor at UCI, assistant program director for the UCI child neurology residency program, chair of the junior faculty leadership council, and co-chair of the sleep workgroup for the National Autism Treatment Network.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?
A: Sleep disorders in children with neurologic diseases such as epilepsy and autism, as well as sleep and cognition.

Q: Are you involved in any current research?

A: Evaluation of efficacy of specific sedative hypnotics in children with Autism spectrum disorder, and Identification of sleep architecture and pathology in children with epilepsy.

Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC?
A: Four years.

Q: What are some new programs or developments within your specialty?
A: CHOC is one of the few, if only, hospitals in the country doing combined long-term video EEG as well as polysomnography (sleep study).  This allows us a very unique opportunity to look at the brain activity and pathology in sleep. Multidisciplinary sleep clinics involving psychology and pulmonology are also unique. Also, identification and treatment of a variety of pediatric sleep disorders including all types of insomnia, narcolepsy and parasomnias, such as sleepwalking, sleep talking and night terrors.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?
A: Insomnia, narcolepsy, sleepwalking (or somnambulism).

Q: What would you most like patients and families to know about you or your division at CHOC?
A: We treat all types of sleep-related disorders and are providing state-of-the-art care for children with sleep disorders. It is estimated that more than 30 percent of children have sleep-related disorders, and improvement in sleep is essential for learning and cognition. Research suggests improved sleep supports optimal athletic performance as well. If there is any concern for a sleep-related disorder we are happy to help evaluate these children.

Q:  What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
A: We treat every child with the highest level of care and the physicians genuinely care for the patients and our community.

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I had been interested in neuroscience since I was a Howard Hughes fellow at the University of Maryland, having done work in spinal cord regeneration. I heard a talk in my first year of medical school about pediatric neurology and haven’t looked back since.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
A: If I was not a physician I would mostly likely be a PhD working in the field of neurobiology and sleep medicine. Both my parents were PhDs and I grew up hearing about fascinating advances in the world of science, so I have been drawn to science and research from a young age. For quite a few years I was strongly considering becoming a professional flute player. I was fortunate enough to travel through Italy with my youth symphony and performed around the country in orchestras, but science drew me in by the time I was in college.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: I enjoy hosting parties and events for family and friends. Our family enjoys traveling and spending time together.

Q: What have you learned from your patients?
A: The best part about working with pediatric patients is that you are constantly reminded to enjoy life and be grateful for every day. The smallest things can make a child happy, like playing with a light-up toy or seeing bubbles, and it is a great reminder to take pleasure in all the simple things around us every day.

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Living with Scoliosis: Ellie’s Story

Ellie was a typical seventh grade student who enjoyed playing volleyball when, during a routine physical, her pediatrician noticed that one shoulder appeared to be a little higher than the other. Her mom was told to keep an eye on it, but since it was minor, not to worry. A few months later, minor back pain after a growth spurt lead her mom to discover a curve in Ellie’s back.  Another trip to the pediatrician soon followed.

Initially Ellie and her mom Gail thought the back pain might be due to carrying a heavy backpack around school every day. But Ellie’s pediatrician diagnosed her with scoliosis, and referred her to Dr. Afshin Aminian, director of the Orthopaedic Institute at CHOC Children’s.

scoliosis
Dr. Afshin Aminian, director of the Orthopaedic Institute at CHOC Children’s

“I wasn’t exactly happy about my diagnosis at the time,” says Ellie. “I was upset because I thought it would affect my daily life and I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I was used to doing, like playing volleyball, but Dr. Aminian helped me along the way and I grew into wearing my brace.”

The curve in Ellie’s spine was less than fifty degrees, and non-operative treatment was recommended. She received a custom-fit brace that would apply pressure to the areas where the spine was exhibiting deformity, in order to reverse the curvature and prevent it from getting worse.

“It made me more self-conscious and it made the little everyday things people take for granted more challenging, such as tying my shoes. But I learned to adapt, and even more than adapt, prosper. Time gave me the gift of wisdom to deal with my scoliosis; scoliosis gave me the gift of knowing challenges are inevitable but my defeat is optional,” she says.

An example of a Boston Brace, like the one Ellie wore.
An example of a Boston Brace, like the one Ellie wore.

Wearing the brace practically around the clock took a few weeks to get used to. The first few nights she slept in a sleeping bag on her bedroom floor because it was more comfortable for her back.

At the time, Ellie and her mom wondered if she’d be teased for wearing a brace every day.

“I didn’t know what scoliosis was before my diagnosis. We visited with a family friend who has scoliosis and she gave me great ideas about what clothing to wear with my brace, and now you can’t even tell when I’m wearing it,” she says. “I saw that she was doing well after wearing her brace every day, so I always knew that I would be as dedicated as she was, and wear mine every day, too.”

Long tank tops that were soft and comfortable, loose-fitting shirts, and skirts became wardrobe staples as Ellie tried to camouflage her brace. Because of how far her brace comes down her back, shirts that are a bit longer in the back also helped, she says.

scoliosis
Long tank tops are one way Ellie camouflaged her brace.

Hearing stories of other scoliosis patients who weren’t as regimented about wearing their braces reinforced for Ellie the importance of sticking to her brace regimen. She made special arrangements with her physical education teacher at school and her volleyball coach to change in private before class and practice because of her brace.

“Having scoliosis wasn’t Ellie’s first choice, but thanks to good support from her school, teammates and friends, she is thriving. Scoliosis just added a little complexity to things, and Ellie has mastered that very well,” says Gail, who helps Ellie tighten her brace after every time she puts it on and takes it off.

Thanks to Ellie’s dedication to wearing her brace every day, the curve in her spine drastically decreased, and she is now slowly able to decrease how often she needs to wear it, and in a few months, she will be brace-free.

“Scoliosis is 70 percent mental and 30 percent physical, so attitude is key,” Ellie says. “If you have a good attitude and are relentless in your bracing, you realize you sacrifice little for your future health.”

Ellie’s commitment to her care team’s plan was evident.

“Part of the reason Ellie’s bracing was so successful was due to her commitment to wearing her brace religiously, up to twenty two hours per day. She was disciplined and it paid off,” says Aminian.

Ellie’s hope for recently diagnosed scoliosis patients is that they would also prioritize their doctor’s orders over what other kids at school might tease them about.

“When I first got diagnosed and got my brace I was really scared and didn’t know what it would mean for me, but eventually you just get used to it, like braces. It’s uncomfortable at first, but every day it gets more normal,” she says. “It really works if you do it right, but you only get one shot at it. People shouldn’t worry too much about being teased but if they do, dealing with it makes you stronger in life.”

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Healthy Eating Tips for the School Year

It’s time to head back to school, and with that comes a fresh opportunity to establish new habits with children and teens. As your family falls into a routine around the school day, be sure to incorporate healthy eating into the mix to ensure everyone has a strong year.

Tips for School-Age Children (Ages 6-12)

School-age children need healthy foods and nutritious snacks to fuel their busy bodies. They have a consistent but slow rate of growth, requiring them to eat four to five times a day (including snacks). Eating healthy after-school snacks is important, as these snacks may contribute up to one-third of the total calorie intake for the day. Remember that school-age children may also be eating more foods outside of the home.

Many food habits, likes and dislikes are established during this time. This makes it a perfect time to experiment with new foods, as school-age children are often willing to eat a wider variety of foods than their younger siblings.

Follow these seven tips to ensure good nutrition habits for school-age children:

  1. Always serve breakfast, even if it has to be “on the run.” Some ideas for a quick, healthy breakfast include fruit, milk, bagel, cheese toast, cereal, peanut butter sandwich and fruit smoothies.
  2. Take advantage of big appetites after school by serving healthy snacks, such as fruit, vegetables and dip, yogurt, turkey or chicken sandwich, cheese and crackers, or milk and cereal.
  3. Make healthy foods easily accessible.
  4. Allow children to help with meal planning and preparation.
  5. Serve meals at the table, instead of in front of the television, to avoid distractions.
  6. Fill half of the plate with colorful fruits and vegetables.
  7. Provide calorie-free beverages (water) throughout the day, to avoid filling up on non-nutritive calories.

healthy eating tips

 Tips for Adolescents and Teens (Age 13 and Up)

During adolescence, children become more independent and make many food decisions on their own. Many adolescents experience a growth spurt and an increase in appetite, and they need healthy foods to meet their growth needs. Adolescents tend to eat more meals away from home than younger children. They are also heavily influenced by their peers.

Discuss these nine healthy eating tips with your adolescent to ensure he or she is following a healthy eating plan:

  1. Have several nutritious snack foods readily available. Oftentimes, teenagers will eat whatever is convenient.
  2. If there are foods that you do not want your teens to eat, avoid bringing them into the home.
  3. Drink water. Try to avoid drinks that are high in sugar. Fruit juice can have a lot of calories, so limit your adolescent’s intake. Whole fruit is always a better choice.
  4. When cooking for your adolescent, try to bake or broil instead of fry.
  5. Make sure your adolescent watches (and decreases, if necessary) his or her sugar intake.
  6. Eat more chicken and fish. Limit red meat intake, and choose lean cuts when possible.
  7. Arrange for teens to find out about nutrition for themselves by providing teen-oriented magazines or books with food articles and by encouraging them and supporting their interest in health, cooking or nutrition.
  8. Take their suggestions, when possible, regarding foods to prepare at home.
  9. Experiment with foods outside your own culture.

Get more tips for establishing healthy eating habits with kids.

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Tips to Encourage Resiliency in Children

Children often surprise us by how resilient they are in many situations. Resiliency – the ability to recover quickly from adversity or disruptive change – is often thought as something that is innate, but in reality it is something that should be taught, says Dr. Mery Taylor, a pediatric psychologist at CHOC Children’s. Resiliency can help children regulate their emotions and lead to an emotionally healthier life into adulthood. It’s a skill that can be encouraged on a daily basis. Parents and caregivers can guide their children on managing common issues that come up at home, school or with peers.

Dr. Mery Taylor, pediatric psychologist at CHOC Children’s
Dr. Mery Taylor, pediatric psychologist at CHOC Children’s

Dr. Taylor offers the following tips to help teach your kids to be resilient:

  • Acknowledge your children’s feelings. Listen carefully to your children’s concerns before you offer your opinion or solution. Keep in mind your child’s personality; some kids may be more anxious to begin with, for example, and may need more support. Let your children know that they are loved. Remind them that they are bigger and stronger than the disappointment they are facing.
  • Allow your children to problem solve. It’s ok to allow your children to try something and fail from time to time. Support your children’s decision or thought process, rather than solving the problem for them. If they fail, let them know that it’s ok to fail or feel disappointed. Talk about lessons learned and what can be done differently next time. This can help your children develop self-confidence.
  • Model resilient behavior. A child’s reaction to his chronic illness, for instance, often depends on the reaction of his parents, Dr. Taylor explains. If you remain optimistic and hopeful, it’s likely your kids will too. Reassure your children that while certain situations may be out of everyone’s control, they are in control of how they react to these situations. This helps your children’s ability to cope and helps reduce their anxiety.
  • Don’t dwell on negative emotions. It’s ok to demonstrate your feelings in front of your children, including sadness, anger or frustration. It’s natural to feel that way in certain situations, especially when it involves your children. It’s important not to dwell on those emotions, however. Follow those emotions with positive messages, such as:
    • I love you and I’m always going to be here for you.
    • We are going to get through this together.
  • Reflect on past challenges. Even when your children are facing painful events, you can remind them of another time in their lives when they overcame adversity. Have them reflect on how much they grew from that experience and how they are stronger and more competent.
  • Teach your child self-care. Start with the basics. Discuss the importance of healthy eating, exercise and rest. Be an example for them. Also, after a tough day, think together about ways they can turn their day around, for example, a good joke, a hug or a visit to the park. In times of prolonged stress, remember to build in time to relax, disconnect from electronics and TV. Find a ritual that works for your family to let go of the worries and challenges, if only for a few minutes. For some, it might be through prayer or meditation, while others may benefit from breathing techniques.

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Saving Lives By Donating Cord Blood

Expectant mothers have much to consider and many decisions to make when preparing for the birth of their baby. Some are unaware that the life-changing event they’re anxiously awaiting could actually save the life of another person.

Mothers who deliver their child at St. Joseph Hospital have the opportunity to donate umbilical cord blood to the Cord Blood Bank at CHOC Children’s, the only hospital in Orange County to accept and store public cord blood donations. This donation is made at no cost to the family.

Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and the umbilical cord following birth. It contains cells that can repair and restore a person’s immune system that has been damaged by treatments required for cancer, anemia, and dozens of other life-threatening diseases. Historically, these patients have depended on bone marrow transplants, but cord blood is more readily available and more likely to be accepted by the recipient.

The cord blood is collected immediately following birth. After the cord is cut (by a person of the mother’s choosing) and clamped, and when the placenta is delivered, the umbilical cord and placenta are given to a member of the CHOC Cord Blood Bank’s team, who collects the cord blood. Birthing plans are not affected in any way. A small sample of blood, equal to three tablespoons, will be collected from the mother within 48 hours of giving birth so the blood may be tested for communicable diseases, to ensure the donated blood is safe for its eventual recipient.

Cord blood not donated to public banks or stored privately (for a fee) is discarded.  Public cord blood banking is different from private cord blood banking. Private banking is a paid service that allows families to store their baby’s cord blood in case their own baby or another family member needs it in the future.

Donations made to public banks like CHOC are listed confidentially in the National Marrow Donor Program, so that physicians can search for a cord blood unit that is a match for a patient who needs it. When a match is made, the donated cord blood is transferred to the hospital where the transplant will take place. A public bank, such as CHOC’s, provides cord blood to anyone who needs it— which means you could be saving the life of another person as far away as Costa Rica or Germany. Cord blood units donated to CHOC have to date been transferred to more than a dozen countries across four continents.

Patients in need are more likely to find a compatible match amongst someone who shares their racial or ethnic heritage. For this reason, a diverse pool of donors is needed.

A pregnant mother may sign up to donate cord blood prior to delivery or once she has checked into the hospital to deliver.

Learn more about how your donation of umbilical cord blood could save lives, or call 714-509-4335 for more information.

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