Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking can provide a safety net for you and your child in the future. This is because the stem cells collected from cord blood has the ability to treat over 70 diseases. Even if the stem cells are donated to a public bank, they can serve someone who needs cancer treatment or other blood-related diseases.

If you decide to keep the stem cells for your child, then it will always be accessible to you. Keeping the stem cells offers contingency treatment in the case of your child contracts a disease. However, this procedure is not for everyone. If you want to find out more about cord tissue banking, continue reading below. 

What Is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord blood banking is the storage of stem cells collected from the umbilical cord and stored in banks for later use. The stem cells may also be collected from the placenta as well and are called hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells can be used to treat certain types of diseases because of their ability to mature into different types of blood cells. 

In order to collect cord blood, the bank must be notified six weeks prior to the due date of the baby. Also, the cord blood collection kit must also be in the possession of the mother before the birth. The family medical history will be examined, and the mother will undergo blood tests. Furthermore, the mother must give consent to the collection of blood prior to going into labor. 

Types of Cord Blood Banks

Tissue banking is organized into two categories: public and private. Each type of bank has its unique uses and can affect your choice for donations. In public cord tissue banks, you will find stem cells for allogenic transplants. These banks will not charge donors to store their stem cells. Furthermore, the stem cells can be used by anyone who is a match. 

Private banks, on the other hand, will store blood for autologous use. This means the cord tissue storage is for family use only. There is an annual fee a donor must pay for storage. However, it is possible to store the stem cells for free if a family member with a disorder may need potential treatment.

The Process of Cord Blood Treatment

How hematopoietic stem cell treatment is performed will depend on where the stem cells were donated. There are two types of transplants: autologous transplants and allogenic transplants. Both kinds of transplants can be used to treat diseases such as immune system disorders, genetic disorders and some forms of cancer. 

Stem cells are the primary way to treat these diseases, and cord blood can contain the remedy. These stem cells have also been used as an alternative when other treatments have not worked. They have also been used in experimental research programs to test benefits.

Autologous Transplant

During the autologous transplant, the blood is placed in a cord banking kit at birth. Afterwards, the blood is frozen and stored until the same child has a need for it. The blood is infused back into the patient after intense therapy. Then, the blood is reintroduced into the bloodstream like a blood transfusion. 

However, this type of transplant is rare for two reasons. One reason is because the stem cells of the child cannot be used to treat genetic diseases of the child. The stem cells have the genes of the child, rendering the cells useless for treatment. Another reason this procedure is rare is that if the child has leukemia, the child cannot be treated with his or her own stem cells.

Allogenic Transplant

An allogenic transplant is when a stem cell transplant from a donor is used to treat the disease of a child. This kind of transplant is more common, and the donor can be either a stranger or relative of the child. The only criteria for the cord blood transplant to work is for the donor to be a match to the child. 

In order to find out if a stem cell donor is a match, the cells between the donor and the recipient must have similar characteristics. The stem cells are not a match when the immune system of the recipient rejects the cells. 

Benefits of Cord Tissue Storage and Cord Tissue

Cord blood banking has several benefits for both your family and strangers in need of stem cell treatment. If you keep the cord tissue and your child contracts a blood-related disease, then you may be able to use the stem cells. You can also use the cord tissue for an older child that has a disease treatable with umbilical cord stem cells. 

If your stem cells have been donated to a public bank, then more people can have access to treatment. Stem cells from cord tissue are less likely to be rejected by the body than bone marrow stem cells. Furthermore, cord blood can be frozen and stored while bone marrow must be used right after extraction.

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