Patients who suffer from serious blood disorders can benefit from the stem cell transplants. Read on the article to find more information about it.
Umbilical cord and plaque which was once considered as medical waste and discarded after the child birth has gained lifesaving status these days. Researchers found out that the blood remained in the umbilical vein is rich in stem cells. This led to the practice of banking for stem cell research and transplants purposes. If you are an expectant parent who does not know much about this banking, here is a simple guide to help you out. Go ahead and take a look.
- What is cord blood?
The primary function of an umbilical vein is to carry oxygenated and nutrient rich blood from the plaque to the fetus. Blood present in the umbilical cord and placenta is termed as cord blood (CB) which contains all essential elements of blood along with the stem cells. After the childbirth, this blood is discharged from the umbilical vein.
- Why bank cord blood?
Umbilical cord blood has been used to treat more than 80 disorders. However, the clinical application of CB in regenerative medicine and stem cell research has been offering promising results to fight neurological diseases and injuries in near future. Cord tissues consist of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), while it is enriched with haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Both the tissue and blood is used for standard therapies, clinical trials and experimental treatments. It enriched with blood forming cells makes it a safer alternative to bone marrow transplants. Families with a medical history of genetic inherited diseases can definitely benefit from the services.
- Where is cord blood stored?
You can store at public bank or at privately owned facilities. If you wish to donate CB for medical research or lifesaving transplants, public banking is the right choice. The service which is available at free of cost in public banks does not provide any link between your baby and the donated.On the other hand, if you wish to store your newborn's cord blood for future purpose, contact a private bank. They can store it solely for the use of the donor and his family at a competitive cost.
These are some of the basic factors you need to know before deciding whether or not to opt for cord blood banking. Although, it is strongly recommended to have a brief discussion with your doctor when taking the decision regarding the CB banking.