Cord Blood – Life Giving Medical Breakthrough

Use of cord blood was a medical breakthrough achieved in the 1980s. Cord blood stem cells are present in the placenta and umbilical cord. Both these sources of cord blood need to be processed immediately after childbirth. Therefore, it is necessary for you to know the importance of cord blood so that you can make proper arrangement to save it after your baby is born.

What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells

Cord blood has cells that are source of red blood cells. There importance is critical to those suffering from blood related disorders like hemophilia, leukemia etc. These cells treat not just acquired diseases like cancer, but also many genetic disorders that are inherited.

This is why cord blood collection is so important. It is a sure treatment of dreaded diseases with no cure. By deciding to bank cord blood, you will be insuring the baby and your family against many diseases.

Storing cord blood

Cord blood can be stored in special facilities right after childbirth. Many private and government firms offer cord blood banking. Government facilities match the type of your cord blood to anyone who needs it and then he or she is treated. The cost of storage has also decreased owing to more efficient storage facilities.

History Of Cord Blood Treatment

Cord blood is one of the most astonishing and important medical breakthroughs in the last century. In 1974, the possibility of using cord blood cells was studied. In 1988, a child with Fanconi’s Anemia was treated using cord blood. Three years later, cord blood treatment was used successfully on a child with leukemia. Then came cord blood banking that was carried out at the University of Arizona in 1992.

Collecting Cord Blood

Cord blood is collected post delivery. It can be collected either when the placenta is inside the mother after delivery, or after delivery when the placenta also comes out naturally. Cord blood is then stored at low temperatures for future use.

Treatment Using Cord Blood

Cord blood research has made rapid strides in the past few decades. The frozen cord blood is returned to normal temperature. It is then injected into the body. Cord blood can be used to treat either the person from whom it was extracted, or a person who is a perfect match for it. Most cord blood recipients other than the donor are members of the donor’s family, since they share genetic compatibility.

You never know when a potentially fatal illness strikes someone in the family. Diseases like cancer have no known cure that works 100 per cent. Under the circumstances, deciding to bank cord blood is a good option. Not only will you increase the baby’s chance of survival if he suffers from some unfortunate illness; you will save members of your family who might be compatible with the baby’s cord blood.