Cord Blood Banking - Umbilical Cord

What is cord blood banking?

Cord blood banking involves collecting stem cells immediately after birth and storing them for use in the future. After your baby is born, there is a small amount of blood left in the umbilical cord that’s still attached to the placenta. The placenta is a vascular organ that, in addition helps nourishing your baby during pregnancy. It contains stem cells. You can store your cord blood with a private company for a fee or donate it to a public bank for free, depending on where you give birth.

When did cord blood banking start? 

Cord blood banking began after the first successful stem-cell transplant in the late kids Hea, but it only became available on a larger scale about 20 years ago.
Cord Blood Banking - Umbilical Cord
Cord Blood Banking - Cutting and clipping umbilical cord after birth

How is cord blood collected?

Once your baby is delivered and your healthcare provider clamps the umbilical cord. Then the leftover blood in the placenta is collected using a needle. The blood is taken from the placenta (not your baby’s umbilical cord stump), which is no longer attached to the baby at this point. It takes less than 10 minutes to gather the cord blood. The cord blood unit is then stored in liquid nitrogen in a freezer for an indefinite amount of time. However, not everyone can bank their cord blood—there has to be a certain amount of blood, and it will be tested for bacteria and transmissible diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis and West Nile virus, which would make it ineligible. There is also the possibility that your sample will be contaminated during the collection stage and become unusable.

 What about delayed cord clamping?

Delayed cord clamping has become common practice nowadays, and it affects whether you can do cord blood banking. As a result more nutrient-rich placental blood enters into the baby and  helps in  preventing iron deficiency. If you delay cord clamping by less than 60 seconds, it’s often still possible to collect a reasonable amount of blood, but this is highly variable from one birth to the next, says Allan. The medical team needs to balance these two competing factors to see what makes the most sense for you and your baby.

What can cord blood be used for?

Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells, which are the basis for creating all other cells, such as blood cells etc. That means when these stem cells are transplanted, they help in creating healthy blood, brain, heart and bone cells .Since 1988, cord blood transplants have been used to treat certain blood-related cancers (such as leukemia and lymphoma), genetic disorders and blood disorders (such as aplastic anemia). Almost all patients with blood-related disorders need to use donated cord blood stem cells from a public bank. 

In future there is a chance of the use of cord blood stem cells in regenerative medicine, but right now it’s still far from being used as a standard treatment.There are some diseases where it’s useful to have your own stem cells. For example, there are currently studies looking at cord blood to help treat conditions such as type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, autism, eye disorders and hearing loss. The idea is that by re-growing the blood system, you may be able to reset the immune system to what it was like before developing the disease.


Cord Blood Banking - Umbilical Cord Cord Blood Banking - Umbilical Cord Reviewed by Smruti on November 23, 2019 Rating: 5

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