Author(s): PATRYCJA KRAWCZYK1, ANDRZEJ BARAN2, URSZULA SIOMA-MARKOWSKA1, MARIOLA MACHURA1, SYLWIA KUBASZEWSKA1, ANNA KANABROCKA3
Introduction. The current average life expectancy in highly developed countries is 80 years, and every year it becomes prolonged for another three months. The prolongation of life is associated, in the first place, with the fast development of biomedical sciences. Developing a minimally invasive way to obtain stem cells from the umbilical-cord blood has been a significant contribution to the treatment of many diseases within different fields of medicine.
Objective. The assessment of knowledge and acquaintance with opinions of women in childbirth on the stem cells obtained from the umbilical-cord blood. Study material and methods. The study involved 50 patients of the labour ward and the complicated pregnancy unit at the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department of the Medical University of Silesia in Tychy. The analysis was conducted by means of a custom-designed questionnaire which contained specific questions regarding ways of collecting and storing the umbilical-cord blood. The study material obtained was subject to a statistical analysis conducted with the use of the STATISTICA software, a chi–squared test. The level of p < 0.05 was accepted as statistically significant.
Findings. 22% of women did not have any knowledge about the possibility of obtaining stem cells from the umbilical-cord blood. In the group possessing some knowledge of stem cells, 30.3% of women indicated press reports and thematic articles as the most common sources of knowledge. 6.1% of women obtained the information from television. The involvement of medical staff in informing female patients about the possibility of banking the umbilical-cord blood was low.
Conclusions. Umbilical-cord blood is not collected on account of the high costs of this procedure and the ignorance of this subject. There is a need of social education, particularly of pregnant women, in order to raise the levels of awareness and knowledge of the advantages of banking stem cells from the umbilical-cord blood. Participation in antenatal classes and professional education provides pregnant women with the knowledge of banking stem cells from the umbilical-cord blood.