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Brookwood Baptist to Offer Free Cord Blood Donation Service

Jul 24, 2018

More than 750 potentially lifesaving donations received at hospital in 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 24, 2018) - Brookwood Baptist Medical Center is proud to celebrate National Cord Blood Donation Awareness Month as the only hospital in the Birmingham area that offers free cord blood donation. Working with LifeCord public cord blood bank, Brookwood Baptist Medical Center is a participating hospital with Be The Match Registry®, where cord blood is made available to any patient in need of a transplant.

A baby’s umbilical cord holds vital blood that could help save a life for patients with more than 70 types of diseases, including blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Today, 13% of transplant patients receive cord blood that was generously donated to a public cord blood bank.Cord blood donations do not interfere with the labor and delivery process. Expectant mothers interested in donating umbilical cord blood should talk to their doctor or midwife. Donation guidelines are available to assess qualifying criteria.

In 2017, 765 patients at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center chose to donate umbilical cord blood. These potentially life-saving donations would have otherwise been discarded as is standard procedure following labor and delivery.

Not only is Brookwood Baptist Medical Center the only hospital in the Birmingham area to partner with Be The Match Registry® for cord blood donations, but two OB/GYN physicians at the hospital – Dr. Ashley Tamucci and Dr. Sarah Aultman – have both made it a personal crusade to help found and grow the hospital’s program.

After trying unsuccessfully for several years to initiate a blood cord donation program at Brookwood, Dr. Ashley Tamucci’s continued motivation came in the form of her good friend’s diagnosis of lymphoma, one of the cancers that benefits from cord blood donations. More determined than ever to bring the program to fruition, Dr. Tamucci discovered shortly thereafter that LIFESouth, the company that manages the hospital’s blood transfusions, offered cord blood donation services through the arm of its company, LifeCord. Since LIFESouth is located on the Brookwood campus, this was the perfect solution for retrievals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just three months after her dear friend’s diagnosis, the program was up and running. Sadly, her friend lost her battle to cancer just one month later at age 46. Today, Dr. Tamucci continues to advocate for the program as a personal tribute to this courageous friend.

Dr. Sarah Aultman is also very passionate about the cord blood donation program - specifically regarding education and awareness around how cord blood donation plays a vital role in the treatment of blood cancer. Dr. Aultman considers it her mission to educate her patients on the option of blood cord donation and also takes advantage of media opportunities and other outreach to spread the word to the Birmingham community and beyond. As well, Dr. Aultman recently gathered together a team of her Brookwood colleagues together - Julie Taylor, MD, Christy Maddox, MD, and Ashley Tamucci, MD - to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr. Aultman and her team raised $43,000 to benefit the non-profit, the most of any team. Following, Dr. Aultman was honored by being named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Birmingham Woman of the Year.

Dr. Sarah Aultman and team
Pictured (left to right): Dr. Ashley Tamucci, Dr. Julie Taylor, Dr. Sarah Aultman (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Birmingham Woman of the Year) and Dr. Christy Maddox

To schedule an interview with Drs. Tamucci and Aultman to learn more about cord blood donation and their mission to save lives through this program, contact Laura Clark, Communications Manager, at 205-490-3206.

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