Who participates in cord blood storage?
Expectant mothers can get the administrative wheels turning and inquire about cord blood storage. Just ask your physician or midwife. They will surely have some information or links to resources.
What is cord blood storage?
Cord blood storage captures about 1/3 of a cup of the blood from the umbilical cord at the time of a newborn’s delivery. Cord blood contains a very high density of stem cells (70 million in the standard sample size) that can later be used to treat blood and immune system related genetic diseases, cancers and blood disorders. Cord blood storage is the deep-freezing of the cord blood sample in a cryogenic state. The life of the cells is literally frozen, until brought out of that state.
When is cord blood storage done?
The process of cord blood storage starts just after the birth of a newborn when the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Blood is drawn from the cord and stored in a sterile environment until it can be transferred to a cord blood storage facility. Reinvigorating the cells after preservation does not appear to have any limits. The earliest harvested cells in cord blood storage are over 15 years old now and show no signs of deterioration.
Where does cord blood storage occur?
The umbilical cord is taken at the time of a newborn’s delivery immediately in the delivery room. Cord blood storage takes place at both private and public storage facilities. In the private instance there are fees involved, and contributors can access private storage banks for family members. In the public instance, there is no cost; donation is anonymous, and the bank is accessed by many non-related people, who are compatible with donors’ cells. However, those stem cells are no longer owned by the family and are available to the general public.
Why is cord blood storage so important?
Cord blood storage provides an invaluable service in the treatment of diseases. For the most part, cord blood stem cells are utilized in transplant medicine to regenerate a patient’s blood and immune system after they have been treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation to destroy cancer cells. The list of diseases where stem cells can assist the healing process is absolutely impressive, and supports the value of cord blood storage. The disease list includes leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, Aplastic Anemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, various other cancers, blood diseases, hereditary/genetic conditions and immune system disorders. In addition, current research on the value of cord blood storage holds significant promise for improving the treatment of some of the most common diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.