Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What Is Cord Blood?

If you are contemplating with the idea of saving your newborn baby’s cord blood, you may find yourself confused with a lot of questions. So here are some top questions answered to clear out your concerns. 
  1. What is cord blood?
    The blood left in the newborn’s umbilical cord and blood vessels of placenta right after the child birth is known as cord blood (CB). This blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells and the cord tissue consists of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
  2. What is stem cell research and how it is related to cord blood banking?
    Stem cells have the remarkable potential to become any type of specialized cell. Another significant characteristic is its self-renewing capacity, which makes it an ideal choice for degenerative medicine therapy. Stem cells are classified into embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. While embryonic stem cell research has been facing a lot of ethical controversies, researchers and scientists have been working on the adult stem cell transplants and therapies. That is when the presence of adult stem cells was discovered in umbilical cord blood, which further led to its banking.
  3. How is cord blood collected?
    Unlike the bone marrow harvest, cord blood collection is a quick and painless procedure that poses no harm to the baby or mother. Umbilical cord is clamped and cut immediately after the child birth. The blood present in the umbilical cord is drained to a gravity bag. 
  4. What diseases does cord blood cure?
    Currently, CB is used to treat more than 80 life-threatening diseases and disorders. Cancer, blood disorders, immune disorders and metabolic disorders are some of them. It can also be used to treat certain set of inherited genetic conditions. Several clinical trials and research is currently  investigating the potential of CB stem cells to treat many other debilitating conditions. And that is the exact reason why physicians and scientists encourage saving newborn baby’s cord blood and also consider it as a wise investment to secure the future health of your child and  family. 

You can also have a brief discussion with your doctor to find more information regarding the cord blood banking services.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Why You Should Opt for Umbilical Cord Tissue Banking?

Cord blood is the blood left in the placenta and umbilical cord after the child birth. Umbilical cord
blood and placenta which was  considered as a medical waste in the past has now turned out to be a life-saving resource. As per the researchers and scientists, cord blood (CB) contains stem cells that can be used for transplants and stem cell research. Whatis stem cell research and why CB holds significance? Scientists are interested in stem cells because of its self-renewal capacity and other remarkable features. Stem cells with their powerful regenerating capacity have  the potential to cure various life-threatening disorders. And that is the exact reason why many expectant parents are saving baby cord blood these days.

Umbilical cord blood which mainly consist of Hematopoietic stem cell or blood forming cells proves to be a great alternative to bone marrow transplant. Not just the cord blood, but umbilical cord tissue banking also holds prominence as it contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). Clinical trials are underway exploring the potential applications of MSCs in treating cartilage damage, spinal cord injury and more. 

Coming back to the CB applications, have you ever thought why cord blood is a better alternative over bone marrow for stem cell transplant? Here are some points that explain the reasons.

  1. Collection of CB and umbilical cord tissue banking is a non-invasive and painless procedure. Bone marrow stem cell collection on the other hand is an invasive method that is performed in a surgical setting.
  2. Cord blood units are stored in specifically designed freezers and can be used for transplants even after years. But bone marrow needs to be used fresh as it possess less shelf life. That is why saving baby cord blood provides you a long term health assurance. 
  3. It is difficult to find the right bone marrow donor, while cord blood match is easier to find because of the greater Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) compatibility.

Umbilical cord blood is also used for treating ischemic vascular disease, metabolic storage diseases, hemoglobinopathies, malignant disease, neurological disorders and more.

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