Why Cord Blood Donation Should be the Standard
By Apurva Shree, American Chronicle, September 3, 2007
Yet-to-be parents across the world are getting the message from doctors and medical practitioners: donate cord blood. Individuals who are combating malignant ailments can have new hope for survival when pregnancy gives birth to new life. Patients suffering from acute disorders from the immune system, severe anemia, leukemia, and other conditions can potentially be cured by the stem cells which are contained in a newborn baby's umbilical cord. Researchers strongly advocate the need for cord blood donation, as they come up with newer advancements in treatment with blood forming cells.
The term waste material was once synonymous with the placenta and umbilical cord. This biological material was considered unimportant. The scenario has since been reversed due to the understanding that patients suffering from spinal cord disorders, diseases of the immune system, various types of blood disorders and many other conditions can be helped by these umbilical cord cells. Instead of discarding them, the cells are now treasured by doctors. The procedure of cord blood collection is also being more widely accepted at the same time by soon to be parents.
Prior to the delivery of the placenta, but after the baby has been born, the umbilical cord blood is collected. The process can be initiated after the placenta has been delivered as well in some cases. Neither the new born baby nor the mother is ever under any risk or subjected to any form of pain. Advanced equipment for the safe collection of cord blood cells is provided by the blood bank where the donor decides to preserve the cells. Regardless of the birth procedure the umbilical cord blood stem cell can be collected. With no changes in the procedure of delivery, stem cells can be collected with both caesarean and vaginal deliveries.
The hematopoietic features of bone marrow stem cells are mimicked by umbilical cord blood stem cells to a certain degree. But, bone marrow samples are lacking the rich number of stem cells that are found in umbilical cord blood. Any type of organ or tissue that includes three types of blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, red blood cells, can be produced by umbilical cord blood stem cells. The option of getting a cord blood transplant as opposed to a bone marrow stem cell transplant can prove to be a wise decision if your family has a history of or a family member has a medical condition such as any immunodeficiency disorders or other genetic disorders, metabolic storage disorders, aplastic anemia, leukemia, thalassemia, or Fanconi's anemia.
If a patient is from an ethic minority group in the country where he resides, finding a matching donor can present a significant challenge. The biggest obstacle in locating a matching bone marrow cell donor falls on the shoulders of those who are of native American, Hispanic, African-American, or mixed ethnicity. You should donate cord blood stem cells if a transplant is required by one of your family members who suffer from a condition that can be treated by stem cells. There is great difficulty finding a matching donor for bone marrow, but cord blood has a 25% greater chance of matching. In the case of an emergency, your child can even be their own donor.
To ensure their family membersí and relatives protection from various malignant diseases, the cord blood banking industry is introducing several convenient campaigns to encourage more people to donate cord blood.
Providing hope to innumerable patients suffering from serious diseases, cord blood stem cells are now treasured where they were once considered a waste. For use by themselves or other members of their family, many individuals prefer to bank their cord blood.