What is Cord Blood?
After a baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, some blood remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and the portion of the umbilical cord that remains attached to it. This blood is called placental blood or umbilical cord blood also called “cord blood”
The blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta of newborn baby contains valuable newborn stem cells. It is relatively easy to collect, with no risk to the mother or baby. These unique cells have the potential to treat certain diseases and disorders. These stem cells help children replace damaged blood cells with healthy ones and strengthen their immune systems. Cord blood is the only hope for many patients in need of a stem cell match.
According to Viacord, now a days cord blood stems cells are used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, and blood disorders. The potential use of newborn stem cells is expanding rapidly. In the majority of births (easily over 98% in some countries),
cord blood is thrown away as medical waste.
Most of the diseases treated with cord stem cells are inherited genetic diseases. Normally Genetic disease treatments require a donor transplant, and a family member is always the first-choice source. In case such donors are not available or have a genetic disease then cord stem cell is the best source. Cord stem Cell is best used in new “Savior Siblings” treatment of certain leukemias and anemia. Cord blood can also only be used to treat blood diseases.No therapies for non-blood-related diseases have yet been developed.
According to medical researchers, children with stored cord blood will have more medical options later in life. Current diseases treated include lymphoma, leukemia, and autoimmune disorders.
Benefit to sibling or family member
A sibling or family member could benefit from a cord blood transplant if your child is a match.
Your unborn child has been diagnosed with an injury/illness during pregnancy and cord blood could possibly be used as treatment.
Your family medical history would suggest that there may be a need for cord blood in the future.
Frances Verter, Ph.D., founder and director of Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, estimates that there’s only a 1 in 217 chance that your child will ever need a stem cell transplant with cord blood (or bone marrow). This is particularly true if the child doesn’t have a family history of diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, or sickle cell anemia.
you may donate the cord blood to a public bank so that doctors can use for a patient who needs a hematopoietic stem cell transplant or for life-saving medical research. .You may choose to store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank(with charges) so it can be available as and when required for personal/family use.