The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood is found in the placenta and the attached umbilical cord after childbirth. This valuable resource is collected because it contains stem cells, making it serve many useful medical purposes. Cord blood will often clot shortly following childbirth making quick removal essential.
The collection of cord blood is a safe and painless process for both the mother and baby and can often be completed before the mother even knows it's been done. After the umbilical cord has been cut by either a physician or the father, the cord is clamped. At this point, a needle is inserted into the umbilical vein that is still attached to the placenta for collection. The needle never goes near your baby!
Cord Blood Benefits
Cord blood contains rich amounts of stem cells, the critical component used to create blood and the immune system. These unique cells are capable of developing into other cell types to help repair tissue and treat a variety of diseases. Though stem cells can be found in various parts of the human body, the richness is not enough to facilitate harvesting, making cord blood important.
One important use of stem cells lies in the treatment of leukemia. When chemotherapy fails or remission is no longer found, stem cells are injected into bone marrow through transfusion. This can force the body to utilize the cells to create new blood and strengthen the immune system. Because stem cells are undeveloped, they will not attack foreign substances and are less likely to be rejected by the body.
The stem cells found in cord blood have been used to treat more than 80 individual diseases. These diseases include Hodgkin's disease, aplastic anemia, some cancers and immune deficiencies. The applications that cord blood can be successfully used to treat are still being found, making increased supply levels necessary.
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