Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Is Private Cord Blood Banking Worth the Money?

An expectant parent needs to take a number of important decisions in order to ensure the future health of their child. What to do with the newborn’s cord blood is a case in point. Blood present in the umbilical cord is an abundant source of stem cells which makes it a valuable lifesaving resource. It can be used to treat an array of debilitating conditions such as leukaemia, lymphoma and anaemia to mention a few. And that is why cord blood banking have been gaining wide acceptance like never before. With the remarkable advancements in the stem cell research, the field of cord blood stem cell technology is all geared up to transform the regenerative medicine in many ways. Expectant parents can discard it, donate it to a public cord blood bank or store it in private cord blood banks

You need to take several factors into consideration before taking a decision. Having a look at your family medical history is one of them. Check whether there are any heritable diseases running in your family that can be treated with cord blood. Have a brief discussion with your family members and seek the guidance of your family doctor. Private cord blood banks store your baby’s cord blood for an annual fee so that the family can use it at the time of need. If you have decided to bank your baby’s cord blood, then it is advised to do a detailed research to find an accredited and reputed family cord blood bank.

Public cord blood banks allow families to donate the blood at free of cost. Cord blood donated to such public facilities is used for transplants or medical research. No matter whether you are planning to store or donate cord blood, it is essential to check out the eligibility criteria of cord blood banking.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Bone Marrow Transplant Versus Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Significant strides and breakthroughs in the medical research and healthcare have helped the physicians to diagnose and treat patients better. Let us consider the field of stem cell research. Scientists have been striving hard to tap into the potential of master cells in curing wide and extensive array of diseases. Several discoveries were made over the past decade and the use of baby cord blood for stem cell transplants was just one of them. Umbilical cord blood that connects an embryo to the placenta serves an integral role of providing nutrients to the growing fetus. Discovery of stem cell presence in the cord blood and cord tissue was a major milestone in the history of stem cell research. Blood forming hematopoietic stem cells present in the cord blood can develop into red cells, white cells or platelets, which makes it capable of curing different types of debilitating conditions including genetic disorders, immune deficiencies and blood disorders. On the other hand, umbilical cord tissue contains Mesenchymal stem cells that can develop into different skeletal tissues such as cartilage, bone and fat.

Cord blood, being a rich source of blood forming stem cells can be used for the transplants among leukemia patients so as to restore the body’s ability to make blood and immune cells. That is the reason why medical community and scientists have been encouraging the banking and donation of baby cord blood. Private and public cord blood stem cell banking services are available to the expectant parents. Blood stored in the private bank will be solely for the family whereas cord blood donated to the public bank will be used for life saving transplants and research purpose. Great shelf life, lower risk of viral contamination, higher flexibility and lower incidence rates of graft versus host disease are some of the major benefits that makes cord blood stem cells a better alternative over bone marrow transplants.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Facts about Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking

Advancements in science and technology have transformed the field of healthcare and medicine over
the last decade. Let us take stem cell research as an example. Being one of the promising areas of biomedical research, stem cell biology has received wide attention. According to researchers, stem cell science has the potential to change the scope and future of regenerative medicine. However, harvesting and collection of stem cells is always surrounded by several set of ethical controversies. That is when cord blood stem cell banking came into limelight. Before we delve into the details of cord blood banking, let us find out what cord blood is. As you may know, umbilical cord connects the foetus with placenta and is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the growing embryo. After the baby is born, umbilical cord is cut. But even after the child birth, there will be some amount of blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta. This is termed as cord blood(CB) or placental blood. Around 180 ml of cord blood can be collected right after the child birth. What makes the umbilical cord blood so valuable? It is the presence of blood forming hematopoietic stem cells that offers a life-saving status to the CB. Not just the cord blood, but the cord tissue also contains Mesenchymal stem cells.

Stem cells harvested from the baby’s cord blood are used to treat several medical conditions such as leukaemia, lymphoma, immune deficiencies and other genetically inherited disorders. Generally, the cancerous cells are destroyed through chemotherapy and radiation procedures. Later, the stem cells are transplanted to restore the function of damaged cells. Cord blood stem cells are an effective alternative to bone marrow transplants. More and more expectant parents are banking their child’s cord blood these days. Those who can’t afford the high costs of cord blood banking are encouraged to donate it to public banks.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Why Save Baby Cord Blood and How to Bank it?

Cord blood banking has become an increasingly discussed topic among the expectant parents. Blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord is termed as cord blood or CB. Why save baby cord blood? Since this blood is rich in stem cells, it can be used for life-saving transplants and regenerative medicine research. Cord blood was used for the first time in 1988, in order to cure Fanconi Anemia. And from that time onwards, there was no looking back as several breakthroughs happened in the field of stem cell research. Currently cord blood is used to treat more than 80 life threatening conditions which include but are not limited to blood disorders, metabolic disorders, immunodeficiencies and certain types of cancer. On the other hand, the medical applications of umbilical cord tissue are yet to be discovered. Several clinical trials are underway exploring the potential applications and benefits of umbilical cord tissue

Expectant parents who wish to insure the health of their baby opt for private cord blood banking services. If you are contemplating with the idea of banking your new-born’s cord blood, then there are a few things you need to bear in mind. Banking your baby’s cord blood in a family cord blood bank is going to cost you a pretty penny. And that is why it is essential to research about various private cord blood banking prices. Planning ahead and conducting detailed research can help you choose a reputed family cord blood bank. Enquiring about the accreditation, facilities and banking costs of the bank is important. If the private cord blood banking prices are out of your budget range, then you think about donating your new-born’s CB to a public bank. Donations to a public cord blood bank are used for life-saving stem cell transplants and medical research purposes. Either way, you are making a valuable contribution to the mankind.
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