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Austria question umbilical cord blood freezing:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The freezing of umbilical cord blood by parents after the birth of a newborn in an attempt to preserve stem cells for future use is becoming increasingly common in Austria. The move was, however, last week called into question by secretary of state for health, Reinhart Waneck, at the launch of the ministry of health's brochure, entitled "Freezing umbilical cord blood - essential or unnecessary". "The actual advantage of these measures has not yet been scientifically proven," said Professor Waneck. The ministry of health has since asked the working group for stem cell transplantation in the Austrian society for haematology and oncology and the Austrian society for blood group serology and transfusion medicine to examine the brochure, of which 40,000 have been published and bring it up-to-date with medical progress.

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