While you are pregnant you must hear about cord blood banking although you don’t about this blood and its banking procedure. However, you might be thinking that what is cord blood and how it can be used? Do not worry; here you will get a detailed idea about this blood, storage and its uses.
During pregnancy, the foetus is attached to the mother by the umbilical cord through which the baby receives nutrients from the mother. This umbilical cord contains blood which is a rich source of stem cells that helps to cure more than 80 life-threatening diseases.
COLLECTION AND STORAGE
This blood is collected at the time of delivery of the baby. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut from the baby. A needle is inserted and the blood is drawn out from the remaining blood of the umbilical cord. The blood is collected in heparin-free bags kept in an X-ray free Kit box and sent to the lab for further processing. There in the lab, the blood is processed for harvesting the stem cells and then the sample is stored in below -196°C in a cryogenic storage container.
Now you will come to know about the uses of preserving cord blood. Stem cells extracted from this blood can be used for transplantation and can help the people to treat cancers, diabetes and other diseases. The technology of stem cell transplant may help the body to regenerate new cells into the bloodstream. Researchers are trying to find the potency of the stem cells for treating Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other diseases.
Three options for the umbilical cord blood banking in India
- You may donate your baby’s cord blood to a public bank
- You can store at a private bank by paying the charges of storing
- Otherwise, you can discard your baby cord in a safe manner.
At this point, if you ask then I will suggest you store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank. Despite the charges, the private banking companies are the better option. The reasons are:
- Most of this blood donated in the public inventory is rejected due to various reasons such as inadequate amount of sample.
- Whenever a client donates their sample to the public bank then they will have no rights on their sample.
- However, if you store your baby’s sample in a private bank then you will have complete right on your sample and will be taken out from the bank only when you will need it.
The sample of the baby can be used for treating the baby as well as a close relative if the HLA gets matched.
Difference between Private and Public Banks
|Private bank||Public bank|
|Funding||A family wanting to store
cord blood has to pay.
|Family can donate the cord blood to the public banks.|
|Aim||Profit organization and
focus on consumer health
|Creation of the cord units
for various use.
|Benefits||Only available to the donor of the cord blood sample
or to the family member
|Provided to any of the
STEM CELL THERAPY – A HYPOTHETICAL FIELD
The role of cord blood stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine is still under investigation and the benefits are largely speculative in this respect. Regenerative medicine is a medical field dedicated to treatments where stem cells are induced to differentiate into the specific type of cells to repair the damaged cells.
The therapeutic use of stem cells under different conditions shall be treated as research and carried out only in the form of a clinical trial after obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. The use of stem cells for any such purposes outside the scope of a clinical trial shall be deemed unethical and unacceptable
Umbilical blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells, which have been successfully used for curing various conditions including malignancies, hematological conditions, primary immunodeficiency and few selected inherited metabolic disorders. This blood can be safely collected from the placenta without any risks to the baby and the mother in an otherwise uncomplicated delivery. However, the sample collection is not advisable in complicated deliveries.
Their flexibility is the biggest advantage of stem cells. Cord blood, unlike bone marrow, does not require a perfect donor match and, once transplanted, can fulfill many different purposes. This means that patients with a mixed ethnic background have a viable treatment option, who normally cannot find exact matches with a bone marrow transplant.
A clinical trial examines new therapies using this blood in addition to current treatments. These include cerebral paralysis, autism, and diabetes of type 1. If current trials are successful, the treatment of cord blood may become a common practice in the next few years
Many parents are concerned about the viability of stem cells and worries that will the cells they are banking twenty years from now still be usable? Researchers state that there is no expiration date for frozen stem cells. This means that cryogenically preserved stem cells still have decades of proper functioning. One scientist confirmed the viability of the stem cells is that it can be kept up to 23 years or more.
A unit can repair vital organs and tissues, produce red and white blood cells, and treat a wide range of diseases, depending on the situation. While in other areas, such as bone marrow, hair, tissue, and muscles, the body has stem cells, most organs do not contain enough cells for effective transplantation. There is often a combination of cord blood units with existing treatments. Doctors, for example, combine stem cells with chemotherapy to treat deadly conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma. Chemotherapy kills cancer body cells, while a transplant follow-up generates young blood cells and enhances the immune system. So, it can be said that the baby stem cell preservation is an important work to be done during the delivery of the baby.