Transporting Cord Blood
In attempting to understand the subject of cord blood banking, it may be beneficial to think in familiar terms. Start with some common idea – banking. In the most basic sense, a bank is that location where value is held with the likelihood that at future access can allow use of the resource. Sounds simple, right?
Let’s continue our manner of keeping things simple when considering cord blood banking, because cord blood banking functions in much the same way. What’s different, perhaps, is the notion of storing the blood taken from an umbilical cord shortly after the birth of a newborn for the purpose of treating illnesses in the future.
Ask your obstratritian about cord blood banking donations and he or she will surely be able to provide some information and resources. The overall view is that cord blood banking is a very simple and effective way to help with the treatment of a number of diseases, some of them potentially devastating.
Cord blood banking saves valuable stem cells
The blood found in the umbilical cord is uniquely populated with stem cells which have been known to regenerate to help purify the blood system and rejuvenate the immune system. The stem cells saved through cord blood banking are sometimes used in the treatment of patients recovering from chemotherapy which tends to kill off virtually all the cells in the body.
Cord blood banking started in 1990 when doctors began gathering the blood from umbilical cords and cryogenically freezing the samples. A standard sample size is about 75 ml, or 1/3 of a cup, and contains millions of stem cells. The cryogenic process of cord blood banking essentially captures the vitality of the cells as it freezes them until a time in the future when this dynamic resource is needed again.
Stem cells also exist in bone marrow; but whereas the donor and recipient must be an exact marrow match, with cord blood banking the two patients must be only a half-match. This option dramatically increases successful stem cell transplants and has the benefit of lowering risk for the recipient. That’s why cord blood banking is seen as such an important investment in human health.