After the delivery gets over, there remains some blood in the placenta and the umbilical cord. This blood is known as cord blood. A fetal cell transfer takes place, thus boosting the immune system of the mom as well as the baby, both of them preparing for the labor. The blood which is present in the cord provides a rich source of cells, thus strengthening the immune system. Cord blood banking refers to the method which is used to collect the cord blood and extract it, thus letting the stem and other cells to freeze for using it in the future in the medical field.
Better known as stem cell banking, cord blood banking is done with a primary goal of collecting the blood that helps in the stem cell formation instead of primary blood cells.
During the 1990s, the blood of the umbilical cord was considered to be a waste; however, with progression in medical science, people have understood the value of umbilical blood, thus encouraging the process of collecting and storing it safely for treating severe diseases. As stated, the cord blood consists of stem cells, which has immense importance, and thus a higher number of parents are opting for cord blood banking.
Hence, there is good news for expecting mothers. The blood can be stored through the cord without causing any harm to the mom or the little one. So, for expectant parents, the entire period of pregnancy is a good time to invest and plan cord banking.
What diseases are treated with cord blood?
Presently, there are around 80 types of blood and immune system-related diseases that can be treated using cord blood. Due to the presence of an abundance of stem cells, this blood is found to be extremely helpful in treating various types of diseases. The medical professionals are innovating new uses of the cord blood, and as it helps in the regeneration of the body tissues, hence it is rightly called regenerative medicine.
FDA has approved the use of cord blood; hence this blood is used to treat life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma, tumors, anemias, and other disorders. According to a recent report, cord blood plays an inevitable role in treating Alzheimer's and cerebral palsy.
What is the cost associated with cord blood banking?
Most of the families wish to bank the cord blood of the babies, thus safeguarding the families' health, but the cost of the banking does not permit the banking, and it is still a dream come true for many. Higher prices work as a significant hindrance for families not storing the cord blood. The banks require money for collecting and preserving the blood that can go up to a whopping sum of $2000. The fees charged by the bank includes the kit which is given for facilitating the process of collection of blood, transporting the cord blood and opting for the courier service that ensures the safe shipment of the medical kit and testing the baby's and the mother's blood to rule out chances of any contagious diseases. For continuing with the storage facility or even on the baby's birthday, there is often a yearly fee that the parents are required to pay.
How does banking work?
Cord blood banking can be a new experience for many, but it follows a simple process. There is nothing to worry about when it comes to cord banking as it is taken care of by the healthcare professionals and the banking facilities. The following steps are taken and carried out for perfect cord blood banking.
- The parents receive a collection kit, which is required to be stored safely
- The collection kit needs to be carried to the hospital where the delivery would take place
- After birth, the umbilical cord is cut by the healthcare professional
- The blood that is present in the umbilical cord is taken out by the doctor without causing any harm to the baby or the mother
- After the collection gets over, the doctors put the collection bag back to the kit
- Parents must call a number mentioned on the collection bag requesting the medical courier, thus ensuring safe transportation of the package to the blood bank.
Parents have several questions regarding cord blood banking as it is a relatively new concept, the answers to which they can get by reading books or journals on cord blood banking.
Author for local newspapers and national magazines in the greater midwestern area, loves sailing with his wife Deb.