Breast milk bank project under study
Héma-Québec is currently studying the possibility of opening a breast milk bank in Québec. Such a bank would, among other things, contribute to the survival of premature babies; the number of premature births is constantly growing.
“We have been solicited since milk is a human product and we have developed techniques for collecting such products in the best manner possible,” said Dr. Marc Germain, Vice-President - Medical Affairs, Héma-Québec. “Although the risks of transmitting an infection through breast milk are less significant, they still exist. Therefore, there is a risk to be mitigated and we have experience in this area.”
Héma-Québec is already well equipped to collect, test, store and distribute blood products, stem cells and human tissues throughout the province. The organization also manages the only public cord blood bank in Québec.
Therefore, a committee of experts has been assigned to determine the need for a breast milk bank in Québec. Specialists will also examine what has been done elsewhere, particularly in Europe and the United States.
The results of this study will be presented to Héma-Québec by spring 2011. In the event that the organization decides to proceed, the final decision will be made by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.
The Fondation Héma-Québec will finance the study, which should cost $66,000.