Dr. Stacy Pollack, 3rd year OBGYN resident at UAMS, received the Best Clinical Abstract Award at the 15th International Cord Blood Symposium in San Diego, CA from June 8-11. She was also selected to give one of the few oral presentations at the meeting for her project, titled “Effect of Umbilical Cord Blood Educational Curriculum on the Quality of Resident Cord Blood Units.” The project grew from the partnership of the CBBA’s director, Dr. Michele Cottler-Fox and the CBBA’s coordinator, Plummer Badger, with the UAMS Department of OBGYN’s Drs. Samantha McKelvey and Dr. Lindsey Sward, who helped Dr. Pollack with the project.
Cord blood collection is not currently a part of the standard OBGYN teaching curriculum in the U.S., but patients expect that their doctor will have sufficient expertise to perform an adequate collection. Teaching the residents about cord blood donation counseling and collection technique with immediate feedback and one-on-one simulation sessions has been part of resident education at UAMS starting shortly after the CBBA’s inception, with funding from a grant by the Chancellor’s Circle, and this project sought to determine its effect. When compared with the collections from providers outside UAMS during the same time period, the resident collections were significantly better quality, higher volume units (91.9 mL +/- 33.0 mL for UAMS residents vs. 72.9 mL +/- 34.8 mL, p<0.0002.)
The presentation was enthusiastically received at the meeting, and the educational curriculum was lauded as the paradigm example of what all OBGYN residencies should be doing. Dr. Haywood Brown, the new president of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) was on site for the symposium, and vowed to pass the recommendation to include cord blood collection/couneling on collection to the education committee at ACOG. He is from Duke, where he has worked regularly with cord blood research pioneer Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, one of the largest in the world. He has personally collected some of the units used to save the lives of children who were expected to be born with otherwise lethal genetic diseases. (see his photo with Drs. McKelvey, Sward and Pollack).