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What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood found inside the umbilical cord. The blood that is retrieved from the umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into specialized cells. Stems cells are what make cord blood so valuable. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used to treat various genetic disorders that affect the blood and immune system, leukemia and certain cancers. Cord blood has therapeutic advantages over adult stem cells. Cord blood stem cells, unlike adult stem cells, are less likely to contain DNA abnormalities caused by sunlight, toxins and errors in DNA replication during the course of a lifetime. Cord blood stem cells are also less likely to be rejected in transplants. Cord blood banks recruit expectant mothers to donate their baby's umbilical cord blood for stem cell transplants. The cord blood banks collect, process, test and store the donated umbilical cord blood. Blood from each cord is frozen as an individual cord blood unit that is available to transplant. Parents can choose to save their babies cord blood in a cord blood bank in case of future need as a transplant alternative to bone marrow. A private bank ensures the cord blood stem cells are available only to the family who preserved the cord blood. The stem cells are an exact match for the baby, and the cells have at least a one in four chance of being an exact match for a sibling.
Choosing the right cord blood bank
One you have made up your mind to bank your child's blood then look into these matters of concern as the service the bank offers, the price and so on. Mostly this work can be done online as the leading cord banks have their own web addresses.
Researching Cord Blood Banks
Once you have checked out several sites and narrowed the choice down to 2-3 cord blood banks call them up and research the following areas before making a final selection:
1. Ask the cord bank some hard questions about their service levels and policies. See the Cord Blood Donor Website for a list of questions to ask a Cord Blood Bank. For those of you who really want to grill the cord blood bank before making a selection, see this list of detailed questions from the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Banks.
2. If you are the bargaining type, you might want to negotiate price. I've heard many stories of people getting $100 off and some stories of people getting even more.
3. Be sure to ship the specimen by "medical courier" not FedEx or other standard overnight shipping companies. Most standard overnight companies cannot regulate temperature and therefore risk destroying the stem cells you paid so much to save.
Probably toady you might be thinking this but tomorrow it might be able to save your baby's life or even another family member's. To do this the only chance you get is once t the time of the birth of your baby. The process involved in the collection of cord blood is simple and painless. If you get to analyse the situation today about 40% people who are in need of a bone marrow transplant do not find their matching one. Future medical advances might allow stem cells to treat even more diseases and be used in more transplant cases than current medical practices.
Once the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut and the amount of blood remaining in the placents and umbilical cord is taken and further it is tested. Once the test shows no signs of infection or there are some eligibility guidlines on which these standards are met, the samples are frozen in a liquid nitrogen freezer and it is listed in the NMDP's registry. No let me mention that donation of the cord blood to a public bank is different where the blood is used by the patients who look for a match. You can also store the blood for your private family use only. In that case there are some fees you have to pay. This blood can be stored for 10 years as of now.
Storing your baby's lifesaving cord blood stem cells provides you with peace of mind and a powerful medical resource used to treat many severe illnesses for your child and loved ones. Discover today why we’re the most trusted and most reliable cord blood bank in the industry.
This website provides a list of all public cord blood banks which collect donations in the United States, irrespective of their business model or accreditations. This website contains an international list of all private cord blood banks, sorted by geographic region. This is the only international bank list which is actively maintained.
ViaCord is more than just a cord blood bank. Partnering with leading medical institutions, our research scientists are helping pioneer new uses for cord blood including new ways for cord blood stem cells to potentially treat heart disease and stroke. Your decision to bank with us today is one of the most important things you can do for your baby's tomorrow.