Umbilical cord blood is a unique type of blood, only available for collection immediately after childbirth. Unlike mature blood, umbilical cord blood contains high numbers of stem cells that were used to create life. Known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), these cells can be programmed by the body to become any type of blood component, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells can be collected immediately after childbirth and processed to isolate and cryogenically preserve the HSCs for potential future medical use. If needed, stored stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be thawed and transfused into the bloodstream to regenerate the immune system.
Thirty years ago, a bone marrow transplant was a patient’s best hope for recovery. But as cord blood processing and storage technology have advanced, things have changed. According to the FDA and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, umbilical cord blood stem cells are now better than bone marrow. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are widely used in clinical research and are a leading source of stem cells for cellular therapy. Be sure to understand the important benefits to consider when thinking about private cord blood banking for your growing family.
There When You Need It
Your child’s privately banked cord blood is ready to use immediately, whereas it can take several months to find a matching bone marrow donor. A potentially lifesaving treatment is one phone call away. At Cord For Life, we have released over 2,200 units for treatments, clinical trials, and research. Our team has seen the power of stem cells and believes in their future potential.
In addition, treating your child with their own stem cells, rather than an unrelated bone marrow donor’s, reduces the risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases. There is also evidence that cord blood stem cells may not require as exact of a match as bone marrow stem cells. Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood lowers the risk for Graft-Versus-Host Disease, a serious and sometimes fatal complication where the donor’s immune cells attack the patient’s healthy tissue. Since the antigens in cord blood are less mature, they are less likely to see the patient’s cells as foreign and attack them.
Check out the table below for a helpful guide to the differences to consider when comparing private cord blood banking to relying on finding a suitable bone marrow donor.
Reserve your Cord Blood Collection Kit in time to bring it with you when you go into labor. Give your newborn every advantage with cord blood banking!
By donating your newborn’s cord blood, you are joining a nationwide effort to create a genetically diverse inventory of stem cells for transplant to a child.