Benefits of Storing Umbilical Cord Blood after Birth

More and more parents are opting for umbilical cord blood banking and rightly so. Information about cord blood banking and its benefits are now widely available. It gives parents a way to make an informed choice about the health of their children and secure their future. If you are still on the fence about it, here are the benefits of cord blood banking.

But first, what is cord blood and cord blood banking?

About Cord Blood

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord post the delivery of a child.

Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which have regenerative properties. They can differentiate (the process of cell division) into any kind of body cell. Due to this property, cord blood can be used for various medical purposes.

At the time of delivery, cells from the mother are transferred to the fetus in preparation for the birthing process. These cells help strengthen the immunity of the baby and the mother. So, cord blood is not only rich in stem cells but also white blood cells, red blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

About Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Umbilical cord blood banking is a 3-step process. It involves collecting the cord blood, extracting the stem cells (and other cells), and cryogenically freezing them for medical use. It is often referred to as simply cord blood banking or even stem cell banking in some parts of the world.

There are public and private cord blood banks. You can use public banks for free and donate the stem cells of your child for research purposes. You will need to use a private cord blood bank if you wish to preserve the cord blood of your child for his or her use; or even for your family’s use.

It is easy to collect cord blood at the time of delivery without any harm to the mother or the baby.

Benefits of Cord Blood Banking

Treatment of Various Diseases

Cord blood can be used to treat rare diseases as well as cancers and other conditions. FDA has so far approved its use to treat about 80 diseases. Research in underway to use cord blood to treat even more medical conditions.

It can be used to treat blood disorders such as sickle-cell anemia, β-thalassemia intermedia, β-thalassemia major, HbSC disease, and more.

Its use has been found helpful in treating metabolic disorders such as Hunter syndrome, Hurler syndrome, Gunther disease, Lesch-Nyhan disease, Mucolipidosis Type II, III, Sanfilippo syndrome, Hurler-Scheie syndrome, Adrenoleukodystrophy Gaucher’s disease, Metachromatic leukodystrophy, and more.

It can treat cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, lymphomatoid granulomatosis, neuroblastoma, acute myeloid leukemia, Burkitt’s lymphoma, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, and many more.

It can be used for the treatment of immune disorders such as leukocyte adhesion deficiency, IKK gamma deficiency, thymic dysplasia, reticular dysplasia, DiGeorge syndrome, severe combined immunodeficiency, Omenn’s syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and many more.

It’s used has also been found for the treatment of bone marrow failure syndromes such as Fanconi anemia, juvenile dermatomyositis, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, severe aplastic anemia, dyskeratosis congenital, red cell aplasia, Shwachman syndrome, autoimmune neutropenia, Kostmann’s syndrome, etc.

Some other diseases that can be treated using cord blood are osteopetrosis, langerhans cell histiocytosis, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. The clinical trial is ongoing for treating many other diseases using cord blood. These are cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, and autism.

Perfect Match

For stem cells to do their job in your body, those need to be a perfect match. When faced with a rare or serious disease, doctors try to match their patients with stem cells available with public banks. But a perfect match is rare.

When you opt for cord blood banking, you have perfectly-matched stem cells available for your child. Your child’s stem cells can also be used for your other family members. Though it may not be a perfect match for all family members, it is likely to be far more viable than finding a perfect match via strangers.

Fewer Complications

In some cases, transplanted cells can attack the body and cause complications. For unrelated people, the chances of complications can be about 80%. The chances of this happening are slim when the cells are a perfect match.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *