About Cord Blood
Cord blood is the blood that is found in the umbilical cord. When your child is born, the umbilical cord is cut to separate you from your baby. The blood left in the cord contains stem cells.
Stem cells have been a hot topic for many years now. These cells are undifferentiated cells. That means that they are cells that can develop into just about any type of tissue in the body. A stem cell can become a liver, a blood vessel or even a kidney. They are like master keys that can unlock everything inside your body.
The umbilical cord is usually thrown away after birth. Scientists and doctors are appealing to their patients to save the cord blood for stem cell research and future medical treatments.
The process of obtaining cord blood is painless and easy. As soon as birth has occurred, a syringe is used to draw some blood from the cord. It is then processed in a cord blood bank facility.
Cord blood banking is a perfect way to gain access to the stem cells that researchers need to advance medicine in this day and age. There are two kinds of cord blood banking: public and private.
Parents who want to preserve their baby’s cord blood for future use can pay to have it stored in their name. Private banking is useful for medical needs not only for your child, but also other members of the family searching for donors for medical treatment.
Public banking is a large registry much like bone marrow registries. The samples are processed and stored to be available for anyone who may need the stem cells in the future. Just like donating a pint of blood, there are requirements but donations are encouraged.
Cord blood is cryogenically frozen to preserve its integrity. Even if you need it ten years or more down the road, it is still viable.
The most notable disease that we have heard about in connection with stem cell research is Parkinson’s disease. Doctors are encouraged about the outcomes of their work. Other diseases being researched are ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injuries, liver and heart diseases. With the availability of stem cells, there is hope for the future.
The more stem cells are available to a person suffering from one of the above disease and others, the better the chances are of positive treatment and recovery. Donate cord blood and stem cells to further regenerative research. Your donation may just save the life of someone you love one day.