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All information you need about banking your baby’s cord blood
Your baby’s cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are special cells normally found in our bone marrow. Stem cells are the master cells responsible for producing all of the mature cells in our blood and immune system. They form the white cells that fight infection, the red cells that carry oxygen, the platelets that promote clotting and the cells of our immune systems. Because cord blood has a high incidence of these stem cells, they can easily be collected and cryopreserved in case they are needed later in life. Stem cell treatments and transplants have already been used for such wide-ranging diseases and conditions as cancer and leukemia, sickle cell disease, various forms of anemia and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID’s). Experimentation for expanded uses of stem cells holds great promise. Often, matched stem cells, which are necessary for transplant, are difficult to obtain, due to strict matching requirements. However, cells taken from your newborn are a guaranteed match for your baby for his or her lifetime. Additionally, they have at least a 1-in-4 chance of matching a sibling. Banking them at birth may provide future opportunities for medical treatments that may not otherwise exist.What does this mean for the other children in the family?
Outcome data show that, if needed in the future, there is a greater chance for success in a stem cell transplant between siblings than with unrelated donors and recipients. Moreover, there is less chance for severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following transplantation. Approximately 60% of all pregnant women already have one or more children in the family. If you fall into this category, it is strongly suggest you consider this important procedure. Many first time mothers are also planning to have additional children. While preserved specimens do not guarantee a match or a cure for every disease, new, evolving stem cell technologies are likely to increase the utilization of preserved specimens in the future.What makes cord blood stem cells unique?
Cord blood stem cells have a number of significant advantages over other sources of stem cells (i.e., bone marrow):
cord blood has a high rate of engraftment,
is more tolerant of tissue mismatches,
results in a lower rate of severe graft-vs-host disease (a major complication in stem cell transplants), and
is rarely contaminated with latent viruses.
In addition, cord blood is “privileged” or unexposed to most diseases, which can make bone marrow from an adult more difficult to use in transplantation. But most importantly, cord blood from your baby is a perfect match for your child, in the unlikely event it should ever be needed, and a 1-in-4 chance of matching a current or future sibling. It is important to note that a perfect match may not imply that the cells would be useful to treat certain diseases of the donor.When is the cord blood collected? Is the collection procedure risky or painful?
Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord immediately after the birth of the baby, and can be performed with either vaginal or cesarean section deliveries. The collection can only take place at the time of delivery, and, since a collection kit is necessary, advance arrangements must be made. There is absolutely no pain or risk to the mother or child during the collection process since the blood is harvested from the cord once it has been clamped and cut.How is the cord blood collected?
Umbilical cord blood is easily collected by your caregiver using Collection Kit (provided by Cord Blood Bank) and instructions supplied. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut in the same manner as it would be for normal delivery of the baby. Using a blood collection bag, cord blood is drawn from the umbilical cord. Maternal blood is also collected via venipuncture for infectious disease testing.How is the cord blood stored?
Cord Blood Banks usually stores the cord blood cells in a compartmentalized cryobag or vial. The bag includes a 20ml and 5ml sample, three segments for testing and are over-wrapped for added protection. A technique called “controlled-rate freezing” is used to prepare the cells for long-term storage. Then, the bag is housed in a protective cassette and placed in liquid nitrogen dewars for cryogenic preservation.Who can use the preserved cord blood stem cells?
The preserved cord blood stem cells are, of course, available as a perfect match for the child from whose umbilical cord they were collected. Because there is a 1-in-4 chance of a perfect match with a sibling, parents may choose to make the cord blood available to siblings or potentially other family members who may need them. That decision is theirs alone.How can cord blood be used?
Cord blood stem cells may be used in place of bone marrow or other sources of stem cells for transplantation and has already been used to treat numerous types of malignancies including certain leukemia’s, Hodgkin’s disease and other types of lymphoma. It has also been used for the treatment of a variety of anemia’s, inherited metabolic disorders and deficiencies of the immune system. The majority of cord blood transplants to date have been performed in patients less than 18 years old and have been sibling or allogeneic (unrelated third party) transplants.How successful are cord blood transplants?
Cord blood transplants have been demonstrated to be at least as successful as bone marrow in the cases in which they have been used. By comparison, cord blood has other advantages over bone marrow, including ease of collection and better tolerance of HLA mismatches.How might cord blood transplants be used in the future?
The nature of treatments for many diseases has changed radically over the past several years. Just a few years ago, gene therapy was unheard of. As the causes of more diseases are determined, more therapies will become available, and it is projected that cord blood transplantation will continue to play a vital role in these therapies. Current promising research is being conducted on the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of cardiac and neurological diseases, to name a few.How long can cord blood stem cells be stored?
Sufficient years have not passed to prove the absolute length of time; however, it is believed that stem cells can be successfully stored long term, perhaps decades, in a cryopreserved form. A recent study of cord blood at Indiana University demonstrated its viability after 15 years of cryogenic storage. Bone marrow has been stored for decades and has remained viable; there is no reason to believe that the same would not be true of cord blood.Other Health LinkCure Ovarian CystCure Yeast InfectionFat Loss Program for MommyInfertility Problem – Getting PregnantNatural Breast Enlargement..