Thursday, May 24, 2012

The importance of donating umbilical cord blood

 The importance of donating umbilical cord blood

For some years now scientists have been conducting extensive research into the possible uses of
stem cells in treating serious disease. This research has already produced very positive results
and stem cells are now being used to treat many conditions that were virtually untreatable in the
past. The stem cells are obtained from the blood contained within the umbilical cord of babies at
the time of birth. The umbilical cord is filled with this brand-new blood that is completely untainted.
It is known for obvious reasons as cord blood. Previously this precious blood was disposed of
with other medical waste, its true value not being realized.

Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which can be used to treat a wide variety of life-threatening
diseases, ranging from leukemia and other types of cancer to immune and genetic disorders.
In fact, cord blood is now an effective alternative to those who need a bone marrow transplant
but cannot find an exact match. Today, more and more people are choosing to donate it. Why?
Simply put, donating umbilical cord blood can save a life.

The Importance of umbilical cord blood

As a fetus grows, it requires nourishment and oxygen. These substances pass from mother to
baby through the placenta and umbilical cord. The blood contained within the umbilical cord
belongs to the baby, not the mother, and is rich in stem cells. Typically, this blood is thrown away
with the cord after birth.

In recent years, researchers have found that the several cups worth of cord blood are actually
very valuable, because stem cells, which are basically immature cells, have the ability to
differentiate into either red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Because of the immature
nature of these cells, patients receiving cord blood transplants often suffer less significant side
effects and do not need an exact match to ensure effectiveness.

Benefits of umbilical cord blood collection

Because umbilical cord blood and stem cell research is no longer in its infancy, it is essential
that parents have the benefits of its collection fully explained to them. The blood can be used
in a variety of applications, ranging from organ repair and treating diseases to bone marrow
transplants. While it is ultimately your decision whether or not to donate your child’s umbilical
cord blood, it is important to remember that doing so could ultimately save another person’s life.

There are several options available when you do decide to make such a donation and there is
absolutely no health risk linked with the collection. In fact, cord blood collection doesn’t interfere
with childbirth at all and takes less than ten minutes. You’ll simply be asked a few general health
questions, as you would when donating regular blood.

Reasons to donate to a public bank

Many parents consider storing cord blood for the future use of their family members should an
individual ever fall ill with a condition treatable with stem cells. In such cases the family have to
make arrangements for the blood to be stored in an approved facility that will require fees to be

When you choose to donate to a public bank, however, cord blood banking costs do not come
into the equation, as there is no fee payable. The collected cord blood is processed and stored
for future use for the greater good. Remember, the goal of a public bank is to make the donated
cord blood a public resource for not only medical treatments but also as a very important
research resource.

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.