Cord blood banking has a number of health benefits to both the children and their parents. Let’s learn about cord blood banking. What it is exactly?
Cord blood banking is a process of collecting and storing the baby’s umbilical cord blood at the time of birth. The umbilical cord blood has stem cells inside them, which can be either stored or kept in storage or donation. The umbilical cord and placenta are otherwise discarded as medical waste. Stem cells can be used to treat a variety of diseases. They are collected immediately after the baby is born and the cells are then shifted to a lab and stored there for further medical use.
What is the Importance of Cord Blood?
The stem cells from cord blood are considered unique because they’re not developed into specific types of cells. That is, they have the potential to turning up to a variety of cells that will cater to different functions in the body. However, one important thing to remember is, you can only collect stem cells at the time of birth. So, you got only a single chance to save these highly valuable cells.
Saving stem cells is extremely advantageous as it can help to treat about 80 diseases. Certain forms of disorders like leukaemia, lymphomas, and anaemia are some of them. The HSCs or the Hematopoietic stem cells are found in cord blood. They have the capability to be a 100% match to the baby, 25% match to a sibling and about 50% chance of partially matching a sibling or parent. So, this means if any of your loved ones or family member ever need a stem cell transplant, there is a match already available for them!
What is Private Cord Blood Banking?
One can save cord blood stem cells in a private cord blood bank only for themselves and their family members. One has to pay a fee for transporting, storing and any necessary medical facility if needed for any transplant. It is most likely that your baby’s cord blood stem cells will match with you or any related family member. You wouldn’t need to run around for finding a donor or a match.
What is Public Cord Blood Banking?
Public cord blood bank works on donation and funding. They offer stem cells to anyone in need at no charge. One can search for a stem cell transplant for a match outside of the family member.
Stem cells in private cord blood banks are only available for people who own them and their family members. While, in public cord blood bank, stem cells are not available to you or your family member. You no longer owe the stem cells after you’ve donated them. Public cord blood bank does not pay for the fee involved in the transfer of stored cord blood to the necessary medical facility. So, if you ever need a transplant, it could be quite expensive to opt for stem cells from a public cord blood bank.
Also, you might find that not all hospitals are associated with public cord blood banks. So, before deciding to donate, you may have to check if the facility is available where you give birth.