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Should I Save The Umbilical Cord Blood For All My Children?
Posted by Cells4Life on Jan 14, 2014 in Cord Blood Banking | 0 comments
The above question is common among parents who already saved their first baby’s cord blood with a private stem cell bank.
One reason why many parents choose to save the umbilical cord blood for all their children is to make sure that each child will avail of the full advantages of having their own stem cells stored because it is 100% match to each child.
According to Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, “Two full siblings have a 25% chance of being a perfect match, a 50% chance of being a half match, and a 25% chance of not matching at all. The more siblings with banked cord blood, the more chance that they cover each other for possible transplants or other therapies for which sibling stem cells are accepted.”
Many successful cord blood transplants have been reported over the years, both for patients who have been treated with their own cord blood and for patients who received their sibling’s cord blood.
Just a few months ago (June 2013), a 2-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who suffered a cardiac arrest has been successfully treated with his own stored umbilical cord blood stem cells. Read more about this story.
While in October 1988, Matthew Farrow, a 5-year-old boy suffering from Fanconianemia, received her newborn sister’s umbilical cord blood, thus marking the world’s first cord blood transplant. Matt is now 30 years old, a husband and father, who is alive and doing well today. Read more about this story.
It is indeed a challenge to decide whether to store all your children’s cord blood or not. Thinking about your main purpose for saving the cord blood is the key to coming up with a fair decision.
The lifesaving power of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the regenerative healing of cord tissue is no longer a secret. As stem cell treatments and research advance, more and more parents are opting to bank their newborn baby’s cord blood and tissue. Find out how stem cells are being used in medicine today.
Umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the cord after your baby has been born and the cord has been cut and clamped. It contains valuable stem cells that can be used in a variety of medical treatments such as regenerating the immune system after chemotherapy. Stem cells are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. They have the unique ability to become other types of cells in the body such as the blood, nerve cells, muscle, bone, and cartilage.
Why are umbilical stem cells so valuable?
Cord blood stem cells can only be collected at birth, so it is important to make the decision to do cord tissue storage several weeks before your due date.
Cord Tissue stored at birth have many advantages – they are readily available for your family if needed, they are considered to be the ‘youngest and freshest’ type of stem cell, and importantly there is a greater potential of a stem cell match between siblings.
Stem cells from the cord blood have been used for more than 20 years for the treatment of a number of disorders of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and thalassemia, which previously had been treated with bone marrow.
The umbilical cord blood collection process
After the safe delivery of your child, your obstetrician or midwife cleans the umbilical cord (with the materials provided in the Cells4Life kit) and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity. The blood bag tubing is clamped, sealed and labeled to await courier collection. The whole process takes only a few minutes and causes no pain for mother or baby.
If you want all your children to have an available perfect cord blood match in the unlikely event that they may need it in the future, then you may want to save their cord blood.
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