WHY TO BANK UMBLICAL CORD BLOOD?
With every new day decision making about banking umbilical cord blood becomes more prominent. Advances and changes in medicinal technology are opening new possibilities in using cord blood for old concerns.
Your babies umbilical cord is very special biological formation that is actually a tube with 2 arteries and one vein. It is a supplier and transporter of oxygen and nutrients between embryo and placenta. Unique cells known as stem cells are found within umbilical cord. Cord blood stem cells are only one of three types of stem cells in human bodies. Do not confuse them with embryonic stem cells that are harvested from fetuses. Embryonic stem cells are controversial topic and separate issue that is not discussed in this article.
Stem cells are primal cells with ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division. The stem cells found in the umbilical cord blood are priceless in treatment of your child and his/hers siblings. These particular stem cells can be used in order to treat deadly diseases and disorders. It is known that stem cells are used in leukemia treatment(bone marrow transplant).
There is strong intent and there is no doubt that they will be used in treatment of cancer, Parkinson disease, muscle damage and different spinal cord injuries.
Knowing that children within same family share genetic material may be another reason why to bank umbilical cord blood. Many doctors, in fact more and more of them, each day recommend banking umbilical cord blood as a form of insurance. Future parents should inquire before delivery in order to preserve previous blood in umbilical cord and gather more essential information about the whole process. Professional medical opinion and consulting other reliable sources is a must before decision making in order to know do you or don't you want to bank umbilical cord blood.
Form of the birth is not an obstacle and doctors and nurses will know how to proceed in collecting baby's umbilical cord blood if you decide so. After cord blood is collected it is cryogenically frozen and stored in a cord blood bank.
Cryogenically frozen means cooling to low sub zero temperatures that effectively stops biological activity. Life span of cryogenically frozen cells is still unknown. First umbilical cord blood was collected in 1970s and is still viable today. Long life span of such frozen blood is to be expected same as it s need in more and more medical problems.
American Association of Pediatrics recommends that families without known family history of diseases that can be treated with umbilical blood stem cells do not bank it.
Price of preserving and storing umbilical cord blood is above 1500USD. That makes cord blood banks out of reach for some people and they have to weigh their decision based on all facts.
It is invaluable if your child is sick or another of your children can be treated with these particular stem cells. Umbilical cord blood treatments have not been so frequent on siblings so far. Technology is advancing daily and umbilical cord blood can and may be used for more medical conditions than we now think possible.
Talk to your doctor, family and friends and measure carefully all possible benefits of umbilical cord blood banking.