Cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord after it is cut. Since the cord is no longer connected to the baby or mother when this blood is collected, cord blood collection is considered a very safe procedure. Here, we will discuss the benefits of saving cord blood after childbirth.
Cord blood is rich in stem cells
The main reason cord blood is collected is for its hematopoietic stem cells. These blood-forming stem cells transform into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Hematopoietic stem cells are naturally found in bone marrow and peripheral blood vessels. They can be used to treat, and even cure, some diseases.
Cord blood treats nearly 80 diseases, including:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Cooley’s anemia
- β-thalassemia intermedia
- Fanconi anemia
- Diamond-Blackfan anemia
- Juvenile dermatomyositis
- Hurler syndrome
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Krabbe disease
- Severe combined immunodeficiency
- DiGeorge syndrome
- Reticular dysplasia
Saving cord blood allows you to protect yourself, family members, and others
By banking your baby’s cord blood with a private cord blood bank, you will have it in the case you or a family member needs it for one of the rare, yet serious conditions it treats. Private cord blood banks charge an initial fee for collection, then a monthly or annual fee for storage. Do your research and check reviews when deciding on a private cord blood bank.
If you donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank, it can be used to treat someone in need who has one of the eligible conditions. Donating cord blood is free with many reputable blood banks. If someone tries to charge you for donating cord blood, it is likely a scam.
Cord blood donations support life-saving research
Researchers use donated cord blood to conduct critical studies on using it to treat a multitude of diseases. Through this vital research, scientists frequently discover new diseases that cord blood can help treat. Since using cord blood is still in its infancy (pun intended) as a medical treatment, much more study is needed to realize all of its potential benefits.
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