If you haven’t heard of it before, cord blood refers to the blood found in the umbilical cord and the placenta after delivery. Cord blood banking is another term growing popular in this domain. It refers to the process of collecting and storing cord blood otherwise known as stem cell banking. Now, cord blood is growing valuable from a medical perspective when it comes to treating genetic, neurologic disorders and certain types of cancer such as leukemia and lymphomas, etc. This is a broad topic. Let’s expound more on this.
Cord Blood in Treating Diseases
Cord blood in treatment is a form of regenerative treatment used to recreate body tissues and cells. It contains hematopoietic stem cells that are now approved for the treatment of over 70 diseases. It’s even showing promise with conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, etc. It’s growing popularity is owed to the high acceptance rate among patients compared to other similar treatment methods. During chemotherapy, for example, the procedure can destroy both the cancerous and healthy cells. Cord blood can be used to help the patient in growing other healthy blood cells as a replacement.
Here are some of the reasons why cord blood treatment is gaining traction:
1. Patient Matching
Compared to other solutions like bone marrow which is also a source of stem cells, the cord blood will often match with the baby and family members. In fact, this reduces the time spent looking for a stem cell transfusion match thus patients are attended quickly. That’s why parents are now encouraged to save the umbilical cord and donate to medical facilities. This may help your child, family and the public through matching.
2. Easy to collect
It is also easy to collect stem cells from the cord blood because it is viewed as waste. With options like bone marrow, there are quite a number of challenges. For example, it’s hard finding a match and someone willing to donate.
3. Ease in storage
Once collected, cord blood can be frozen and stored. This provides a sense of safety when a need arises. Again, this is an advantage over solutions like bone marrow which must be collected when a need arises. This is a significant challenge given that it can also take time finding the right donor.
Cord Blood Banking Explained
Again, cord blood can be stored in its frozen state in either public banks where it will be accessible to all patients or private banks for family members in need. Cord blood banking is common and approved in many medical facilities these days but it’s still relatively new to many parents. Well, cord blood banking is actually quite simple and often handled by the healthcare facility. You will simply need to get a cord blood collection kit weeks before your due date. After delivery, the cord blood is collected and screened for any infections and genetic disorders. Once passed fit for storage, it’s put in the kit and you can have it stored in a bank. It can be in a public bank, but you can also choose to use a private bank.
In a nutshell, cord blood is increasingly growing in popularity in treating fatal or debilitating diseases. This is why you ought to consider it as one great option of protecting your baby and family against such diseases.