Cord Blood Banking: How Big And Important Is It Going To Be For Parents

A stem cell may be described as one that hasn’t quite decided on what kind of cell it wants to develop into; they have the potential to differentiate into different types of specialized cells they’re introduced into like blood cells, bone cells, etc. They rapidly divide and multiply, aiding the repair and regeneration of the damaged cells.

Stem cells are present in the umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid from when the umbilical cord connects the baby to the placenta in the uterus that supports the growth and development of the fetus. The stem cells present in cord blood are called hematopoietic cells; they have the ability to differentiate into different kinds of blood cells like the RBC, WBC, and platelets. Cord blood is collected at the time of a newborn’s birth from the umbilical cord to utilize as well as to conduct further research on the potential of stem cells to treat various conditions

Cord blood banking is part of a modern medical approach to treating and alleviating a spectrum of disorders and diseases. The cord blood and stem cells are cryopreserved in cord blood banks to draw use of them to undertake stem cell transplantation for someone who is a genetic match.

If you are expecting to welcome your newborn into the world soon, you are likely already exposed to many intriguing discussions about the necessity, advantages, and disadvantages of cord blood banking. The pros to cord blood banking are many.

● The stem cells can be used to treat a range of genetic disorders and even be used as a reserve for the future if some undesirable blood-related issue arises with the donor or someone with close blood relation or is a genetic match with the donor.

● If your family has a long-standing history of genetic disorders like autism, Alzheimer’s of cancer, cord blood stem cells stand as a very potent remedy to treat the situation.

● Hematopoietic stem cells are widely used to treat or cure a range of blood-related diseases, including cancer and sickle anemia.

● Researches have made significant progress in utilizing hematopoietic stem cells to treat immune system disorders like Wiscott- Aldrich syndrome.

● Cord blood also contains other types of stem cells like mesenchymal stem cells, which are able to differentiate into different specialized cells that form the bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, etc.

You can choose to donate the cord blood to a public bank that would help use the stem cells to save an unrelated person’s life.

The advantages notwithstanding, many parents hesitate to invest in this ‘biological insurance’ that has the potential to save lives, owing to the financial aspect of cord blood banking. The cord blood bank costs often throw people from expending money on it.

There are three kinds of cord blood banks

● Public cord blood banks: The cord blood cryopreserved in the public blood bank are all donations which are freely allocated to patients who need stem cell transplantation irrespective of their relationship with the donor. The public cord blood banks offer their services free of charge. However, you cannot reserve the stem cells of your newborn there.

● Private cord blood banks: As the name suggests, a private cord blood bank is where the cord blood and tissue are preserved under a special reservation system in which only the donors and their family members can use it. Private cord blood banking is an expensive enterprise that requires you to pay a considerably hefty sum as the initial fee during enrollment. In addition, you have to pay an annual fee for storage through the course of your using their facilities.

● Direct-Donation Cord Blood Bank: Direct-donation cord blood banks accept donations free of charge and either disburse them to those in need or reserve the donations for the donors’ families.

The chances of the donor using the cord blood stem cells in their lifetime is very low; therefore the parents should make an informed decision based on their circumstances and hereditary health risks.