What is Cord Blood Banking ?
What is Cord Blood Banking?
Umbilical cord blood offers a perfect method of acquiring stem cells. Very often the umbilical cord and its stem cells are discarded as medical waste. But today doctors worldwide recognize that cord blood stem cells can aid in the treatment of numerous diseases by helping to generate healthy new cells and tissue.
Expecting parents have the opportunity to take advantage of private cord blood storage not only as a treatment option for current uses, but also for their potential future uses. Stem cells are the “building blocks of life” that regenerate and form all other tissues, organs, and systems in the body.
Cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs have two important features: they can renew themselves and they can create different types of specialized blood cells.
HSCs are being used to treat more diseases each year and may be able to replace a wider array of cells than once thought possible. In fact, researchers are exploring the potential of HSCs in experimental therapies for cerebral palsy and diabetes (type 1).
The What, Why & How of Cord Blood Banking
What is Cord Blood?
When your baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the blood that is left in the blood vessels of the placenta and to the part of the umbilical cord that remains attached to it. The baby no longer needs this extra blood and in most cases is discarded. This blood is called placental blood or umbilical cord blood.
Cord blood not only contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma but is also rich in blood forming stem cells.
Cord blood is being used increasingly on an experimental basis as a source of stem cells, as an alternative to bone marrow. Although most cord blood transplants have been performed for blood and immune system diseases, cord blood transplants have also been performed for patients with genetic or metabolic diseases.
Why Save your Child’s Cord Blood?
Most cells perform a specific function and can only make copies of themselves. This is why stem cells so important. Unlike other cells, they don’t have a specific job. They are like a blank cell. They don’t die and can split to form several different types of cells.
It is for this reason that umbilical cord blood is collected. The blood is rich in a special type of stem cell (called hematopoietic stem cells). They can produce red blood cells, white blood cells and blood clotting cells. These stem cells can be saved and transplanted into other people to treat deadly diseases
If ever required for a transplant, using your own family’s cord blood instead of an unrelated donor’s can have significant advantages, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes.
For experimental regenerative medicine therapies that use cord blood, the child’s own stem cells are required.
How to Save your Child’s Cord Blood?
Saving your child’s cord blood is easy. First, you need to choose a Cord Blood Banking Provider (each cryobank provides financing options). The cord blood bank you chose will send you a kit. Once you get it, open it, read the instruction and have it ready. When you are going to the Hospital because your baby is being born, you need to give the cord blood kit to the nurses for them to collect the cord blood. Once its ready, you need to call it for pickup. They to pick up your baby’s cord blood that same day for quick shipment to the cryobank
Visit our 2013 cord blood comparison chart and see which registry is best for you.