Cord blood banking – reasons and benefits
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbilical_cord
What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood or umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the placenta and umbilical cord of a baby after birth.
After baby’s birth, the umbilical cord is cut and a portion of the umbilical cord is still attached to the placenta. This still contains some blood, which is not needed by the baby anymore. This blood is collected and is known as umbilical cord blood or cord blood. It is also known as placental blood.
How is it different from other blood?
Other than the normal elements like red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets, cord blood is also rich in stem cells. Stem cells are cells which can regenerate and have no specific properties. These cells can divide and produce more stem cells and have the ability to form tissue and act as building blocks for various organs of body. This is the reason that cord blood can be used for transplantation.
Since cord blood can produce new cells like bone marrow, there have been numerous experiments to use cord blood in place of bone marrow. It has been used for transplant in patients with critical blood and immune system diseases.
What is Cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking or cord cell baking is the process of storing the cord blood collected immediately after birth in sterile conditions for many years and can be used to cure genetic and other chronic diseases like cancers.
A cord blood bank is a facility which stores umbilical cord blood for future use. There are many public and private cord blood banks which provide this facility.
Why should one save cord blood?
Cord blood has stem cells which have the ability to self-regenerate and can be used in treatment of diseases and genetic disorders. This blood is kept in sterile condition in stem cell banks and can be used for not only the donator but siblings and close family to a certain extent.
What is the process of cod blood collection? What are the risks of this process?
Cord blood collection is an easy process and without any risks to the newborn baby. It is a simple process and is completely safe.