Different blood disorders, immune deficiencies, and even some cancers; that’s what cord blood can treat, and even cure in many cases. For real! What is cord blood, though, you ask?
Cord blood is the remaining blood in the placenta, and the umbilical cord after a baby is delivered. This leftover blood, which is, more often than not, discarded, contains the precious Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs).
With the ability to turn into any kind of blood cell (white, red, and platelets), HSCs provide an excellent treatment for various diseases, including different types of leukemia, aplastic amenia and other immune deficiencies and metabolic disorders. Besides HSCs, though, cord blood also contains other stem cells, which again come in handy to treat many medical conditions.
Who Should Save Cord Blood?
Honestly, every expectant, conceiving, or planning parent should consider saving their baby’s cord blood and not let it be discarded. The case, however, gets stronger if blood-forming disorders or the diseases discussed earlier run in the family.
It would be imprudent, then, to let, at least, a viable option to treat such potential conditions go to waste.
How is Cord Blood Collected?
The procedure to collect cord blood is simple enough for your doctor and painless for the birthing parent and the baby. If instructed to save that blood, the doctor will isolate a section of the birth cord first and then cut it to free the baby and the mother.
The blood is then collected from that isolated part through a needle, tested, and sent for desired storage option. Often, the cord blood bank may request for mother’s blood too, which is absolutely normal.
Cord Blood Bank: Public or Private?
If you plan on collecting and saving your baby’s cord blood, you have two options:
- Store it in a private cord bank
- Donate it to a public one
For option one, you can select any private cord bank of your choice and have it stored there till you or anyone in the family may need it. This, of course, comes for a charge, and you can select a bank that suits your financial preferences. Besides financials, though, you can consider a bank’s accreditations and overall standards to make your decision.
Alternately, you have the option to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord bank. This comes without any charge, but of course, the blood is not reserved for your needs, but to treat others suffering from conditions it can treat.
The fact is that cord blood is, after all, used to treat rare diseases. Therefore, the chances of you ever needing it are pretty slim. Hence, it is better to donate it and put it to good use. However, if you belong to a family with a history of such rare blood disorders, it does make sense to have it reserved for yourself.
Having said that, please bear in mind that cord blood is nothing magical and definitely not a cure-all phenomenon. So, if anyone claims they can treat with it the conditions other than the ones that fall in the categories discussed here, be prudent. It can, however, treat people other than the baby it originally belonged to, and so, can save a lot of precious lives.
The decision is yours. Hope you make a wise one. And for your healthcare needs, give Annie’s Place a call. We deal in home health and personal support.