Why should cord blood be stored?

Why Store Cord Blood

Why should cord blood be stored? All right, it is the latest concern amongst all new parents or would be parents. Because umbilical cord blood contains special cells called “stem cells” which can be used as part of the treatment therapy for nearly 50 life-threatening diseases. Cord blood stem cells can be utilized as part of the treatment therapy in certain cancers, such as leukemia, and immune and genetic disorders and research may provide answers to Stroke, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Muscular Dystrophy, to name a few.

Most families store their baby’s cord blood because they want the comfort and confidence that comes with knowing that, should the need arise, their baby’s cord blood stem cells are readily available. Still others choose us because they are excited about the possibilities that science may provide in the future.

Normally, there are those who have an existing medical need, such as a history of disease or a family member who is sick with a condition that would use cord blood stem cells as a component of the treatment therapy. More opportunities are being discovered every year but, since each case is different, there is no guarantee that a cord blood transplant will be an appropriate treatment therapy or that it will provide a cure.

Apart from Cord Blood, other good sources of stem cells include bone marrow and peripheral blood, however there are a number of benefits to using cord blood stem cells in transplants, including:

  • There is no risk involved. Collection is a very simple and painless procedure, but it must be done at birth.
  • It is very easier to collect and harvest without the risks of general anesthesia required to harvest bone marrow.
  • It is easily accessible when needed. (if collected and stored at birth).
  • It has lower procurement costs compared with peripheral blood or bone marrow harvesting.
  • Its stem cells are a perfect match for your baby, have a 25% probability of being an exact match for a sibling (even greater chances of being a viable match), and might be applied to grandparents and parents.

The umbilical cord blood is rich in the same hematopoietic stem cells that form the basis for bone marrow transplants. Hematopoietic stem cells are the constituent elements of red blood cells, platelets and the immune system. Every year, 14,000 people in the United States require a bone marrow transplant for life-threatening diseases. But not everyone is willing to donate bone marrow, so there is always a scarcity of donors as compared to the need. To meet any contingency, physicians have began using umbilical cord blood as an alternative source for stem cells.

Not only the donation purpose, but for personal use for your child to survive some of the most deadly diseases and debilitating conditions, you can store the blood from your baby’s umbilical cord. In fact you’re giving your baby the chance to avail the likely benefits in the future in case of any need. Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, the immature cells that develop into part of the body’s immune system. And it does not take much. Only 50 milliliters of cord blood contains millions of stem cells. Because these stem cells are compatible with your child’s immune system, they can be used to fight more than 50 diseases, including leukaemia and Hodgkin’s disease, with no risk of rejection.

Your baby’s cord blood stem cells are unique to your family and have several benefits over other types of stem cells. The immune cells in cord blood are “younger” and are more likely than bone marrow to be a suitable match between family members. This is important because some Research has shown that survival rates double when the patient receives a stem cell transplant from a relative. Cord blood stem cells are associated with less graft vs. host disease (GVHD) as compared to treatments with other sources of stem cells. This type of rejection is the leading cause of death in stem cell patients during any transplantation.

So, by banking the cord blood of your baby today, your baby’s stem cells are immediately available if needed, and can help with more rapid treatments the science may provide in the future. Families who have their babies’ stem cells stored are positioned to take advantage of the exciting medical breakthroughs. Stem cells are an important biological resource and researchers are continuing to investigate the power of umbilical cord blood stem cells for future applications. In every sense it is a wise decision to be made and it doesn’t cost you much as compared to the benefits it is already having or may have in the time to come.

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