Understanding The Value Of Your Newborns Stem Cells
Although we are primarily focused on explaining the difference between storing and donating cord blood, we thought it would be helpful to know more about where the stem cells are collected from after childbirth.
Although all three sources of newborn stem cells provide a tremendous amount of possibilities, there are some differences when it comes down to the therapies that they can potentially be used for in the future.
- Cord Blood Cord blood is the stem cell-rich blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after your baby is born. Cord blood stem cells are incredibly powerful and unique. They can reproduce into red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout our bodies white blood cells, which fight off infections and platelets, which create clots preventing us from bleeding excessively.
- Cord Tissue The umbilical cord tissue contains valuable stem cells that are different from those found in the cord blood. Cord tissue refers to the tissue inside the umbilical cord. There have been clinical trials that suggest cord tissue may be useful in certain stem cell therapies.
- Placental Tissue The placenta is responsible for transferring oxygen and nutrients between mother and baby during pregnancy, but it continues to provide benefits after giving birth. Stem cells from the placental tissue have tremendous potential for use in regenerative medicine.
Cord Blood Banking Cons
Private cord blood banking can be expensive$1,000 to $3,000 to bank the blood, and $100 every year after that for storage.
While cord blood banking isnt dangerous in any way, if baby develops a genetic disease, theres a chance she may not be able to use her own cord blood. Should your child one day need cord blood, she can turn to the public cord banks and try to find a match.
If you want to store or donate babys cord blood, you have to find a hospital with experience in cord blood banking. You dont want to risk having an inadequate collection, Cairo says. And choose an established cord blood bank. You want it to be there in 20 years.
Exaggerated Claims About Cord Blood From For
For-profit cord banking firms make a variety of claims and in my view some of the claims are not substantiated by strong data. From the NYT:
ViaCord, one of the nations largest private banks, states on its website that special properties of cord blood stem cells may help those with autism, in part by encouraging their brain cells to repair and by boosting their immune system. As evidence for that claim, they reference a 2017 clinical trial of 25 children with autism who were given cord blood transfusions.
They are referencing a past Duke trial that actually did not show any clear benefit of cord blood for autism. A more recent Duke clinical trial published in 2020 conclusively showed there was no benefit of cord blood for autism. Duke is not giving up though. Notably, as quoted in a recent article in Business Insider, the Duke Autism Center has connections to the cord banking firm, Cryo-Cell.
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Storing Cord Blood: Pros And Cons
Alright, so now that we have a better understanding of where your newborns stem cells are collected from, lets discuss how storing with a private stem cell bank differs from donating to a public bank.
If you want to preserve your own babys stem cells for future use for your family, then you might want to consider a private stem cell bank. Private banks do charge storage fees, but they also allow you to access the stem cells for future medical uses if needed. Although cost and pricing can be deciding factors for some families, here are additional pros and cons that first-time expectant parents should consider:
- The stem cells collected from your baby will be available to your family for future medical use
- You own the rights to your babys banked cord blood
- A baby is a 100% match to their own stem cells, so if you do need it in the future, you wont have to wait for a matchit will be ready whenever it is needed
- As new stem cell treatments emerge each year, storing your babys cord blood is a wonderful way to protect your familys health and future
Storage Of Cord Blood Stem Cell Is An Expensive Affair:
The storage of cord blood stem cells in private banks involves a huge expenditure. The cost includes spending on an annual storage fees plus various other fees extracted as processing fee. For something that may absolutely not be used for your child or has the least chance of being beneficial to him/her this is indeed an expensive investment. If you are looking for cheaper options, you can still try for the Top Cord Blood Banks in India.
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Evaluating Cord Blood Banking Facilities
You should count on doing some research to find a cord blood bank that suits your needs. The American Association of Blood Banks , where Dr. Szczepiorkowski serves as chair of the Cellular Therapy Standards Committee, evaluates and accredits many of the nation’s private and public cord blood banks. He also suggests a number of questions parents might ask:
Are you accredited by AABB or some other accrediting body? Accreditation is not required, Dr. Szczepiorkowski notes, but voluntary accreditation shows the company has met some set quality standards.
How do you prepare and store the sample? The AABB suggests that the white blood cells be isolated first and that the sample be stored in plastic bags, not vials, to lower the risk of contamination .
How much does it cost? Understandably, says Dr. Szczepiorkowski, the expense may make the decision for you. He also notes that higher-priced banks are not necessarily better in quality.
How quickly will the cord blood be transported to your facility? The quicker the better, says Dr. Szczepiorkowski, although the issue of timing is still a gray area. Ideally, the cord blood sample should arrive at the facility within 24 to 48 hours.
More Cord Blood Banking Cons
1. Children may never need their cord blood. Cord blood is rich in stem cells, so it can be used to treat a wide range of diseases that may affect a child. The odds that any given child will need their cord blood, however, is only about 1 in 217. For families that do not have a history of sickle cell anemia, lymphoma, or leukemia, the costs of collecting and storing the blood may not make sense and public bank storage may be a better option.
2. Cord blood is not a miracle cure for everything. The stem cells in cord blood can provide numerous benefits, but they are not a magical cure for everything that may happen to a child. Certain genetic conditions, such as MD or spina bifida, cannot be treated through a childs cord blood because the stem cells would be affected by the same condition. Other cord blood options may be available, but it is important to note that the presence of it is not a guarantee of future wellness.
3. Private banks throw away unfunded cord blood. Families must pay the annual storage fees to maintain their cord blood at a private bank. If those fees are not paid, then the cord blood will simply be disposed of or donated to a public bank. That is why public cord blood banks can be a better option, especially for households with lower income levels, because there is a greater chance that the stored blood will be able to successfully treat someone in the future.
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Benefits To Banking Cord Blood
Benefits of donating cord blood to a public bank:
- Your babys cord blood will be cataloged into a registry available to all doctors looking for stem cells to save their patients lives
- The stem cells in your babys cord blood might be used to advance medical research or in life saving clinical trials
- Donation is completely free
- Donating cord blood to a public bank is contributing to the advancement of this field of research and to the good of science and greater good if you will
- For those interested in cord blood banking, this is the method most often recommended by the AAP and ACOG
Benefits of storing cord blood privately:
- Privately stored cord blood is stored just for your baby and your familys use
- The cord blood may be used to treat a sick family member or in the event of a family member needing a stem cell transplant
- If you have a sick family member that needs, or may one day need a stem cell transplant, you may be making a lifesaving choice by storing cord blood privately
- There is an ever-changing and evolving understanding of how stem cells and cord blood can be used, in the future it may benefit your baby in a way not currently known
- Private cord blood storage is only recommended by ACOG and the AAP if you have a family member with a known disease that will benefit. Otherwise, it is not recommended. The idea of biological insurance is rejected and seen as a marketing tactic
Drawbacks to cord blood banking
What Are The Top Cord Blood Banks
Any cord blood bank youre considering should have AABB accreditation. AABB accreditation is the gold standard in cord blood banking, ensuring that your babys cord blood is collected, stored, processed and distributed safely and effectively. The bank should be registered with the Food & Drug Administration too.
If youre considering a private cord blood bank, youll also want to know:
- How the bank collects and stores the blood. There are different methods, and youll want to make sure that the bank complies with federal standards.
- How viable the banks cord-blood samples are compared with other banks. Youll want to choose a bank that has demonstrated good odds of getting a usable blood sample.
- How stable the company is. You dont want the bank to go out of business, so explore the pros and cons of choosing a lesser-known, smaller bank versus a larger, well-known bank that has been operating for longer.
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Devoid Of Health Risks
The banking of cord blood is a risk-free procedure for the baby and the mother.
- Usually, the cord is folded and clamped after birth. It dries off a few weeks after birth. The blood is withdrawn from the cord after the baby gets delivered.
- The method does not give any post-procedure threat to mother or infant baby and holds total hazard free guarantee.
What Is Cord Blood And Why Is It Important
Cord blood is the term used to refer to the blood and fluids left in the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth. It contains cells called hematopoietic stem cells, which are used in modern medicine to treat various diseases. These diseases include anemia, auto-immune disorders, and even cancer.
While these cells can also be taken from the bone marrow, what makes cord blood special is it makes the stem cells easier to collect. It also contains 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow, and the cells from cord blood rarely carry infectious diseases.
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Is It Worth It To Bank Cord Blood
Finally, to answer whether its worth it, you need to consider that cord blood banking is not a form of insurance. Think of it as a way to preserve your child or family members future health. If a family member needs a stem cell transplant, the stored cord blood may be useful to help treat them with their own genetically matched cells.
The collection process is relatively simple, taking just minutes from start to finish. Once collected, the cord blood is stored in liquid nitrogen tanks at shallow temperatures . This method preserves it until a patient needs it later on down the road.
On the other hand, insurance can ensure that the person gets treatment without worrying about medical costs. You will still need to purchase insurance policies if you want to ensure that you, or your dependents, obtain a high level of care when something unexpected happens.
Should you be considering to do a comprehensive financial planning, drop us a message below by filling in the form and our licensed financial advisor will get in touch.
Uses Of Stem Cell Transplants
Four main types of physical conditions are treated with stem cell transplants: cancers, blood disorders, congenital metabolic disorders, and immunodeficiencies . Examples of cancers that are treated with stem cells are both lymphoma and leukemia. Nonmalignant hemologic disorders also account for a fair share of the recipients of stem cells. Examples of these blood disorders are various types of anemias, such as sickle-cell anemia and Fanconis anemia . Stem cells have also been used to treat various metabolic disorders, such as adrenoleukodystrophy. The fourth major category of uses for stem cells is in treating immunodeficiencies, such as Duncans disease or adenosine deaminase deficiency .
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Cord Blood Banking
The best time to bring up cord blood banking with your practitioner is during your second trimester. That way, youll have plenty of time to make your decision and learn what you need to do in advance.
You might start the conversation by saying, Were thinking about banking our babys cord blood. Can we discuss that so we know what’s involved? Also ask:
- Are we eligible for public cord blood banking? Not every family is. Your doctor can help you figure out if restrictions apply to you. If they do, you may still use a private bank to store your babys cord blood.
- Are you willing to collect our babys cord blood? Its very rare, but you may encounter a doctor or midwife whos unwilling to perform this procedure.
- Does the hospital where Ill be delivering collect cord blood? Many hospitals have agreements with public cord blood banks to help collect and deliver it. If not, you can probably still donate your babys cord blood via a mail-in collection kit, which is also what youd do for private storage.
- Is there a fee for cord blood collection? This applies to both public donation and private storage.
Some Of The Disadvantages Of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Are:
- The number of cord blood stem cells banked is crucial, as too few can affect how successful a stem cell treatment will be. CellsPlus provides three times more stem cells at the point of recovery than other industry-leading technologies available in the UK, ensuring the maximum amount is banked.
- You must decide and plan for cord blood donation before labour starts, so make sure you have done your research prior and have all the information you need.
- When you go into labour and head off to the hospital, you need to remember to bring your Collection Kit with you. Following the birth of your baby and delivery of the placenta, your healthcare professional will use the Collection Kit to collect the cord blood, tissue and a maternal blood sample.
- Not everyone is eligible to donate cord blood, depending on several factors such as your medical history.
Cells4Life is the leader in cord blood banking in the UK, with more UK samples in storage than any other bank. You know you are in safe hands when you bank your babys stem cells with us.
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Importance Of Cord Blood Banking:
Umbilical cord blood can be used for a variety of tasks like:
- Treatment of various diseases: research is being done all around the world as stem cells have the potential to treat life-threatening diseases. Since the stem cells are unexposed to the external environment, they have the potential of regenerating into different types of cells in the body.
- Stem cells can be used for the treatment of various blood disorders including sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and even cancers like leukaemia.
- The stem cells can be used by other members of the family for the treatment of various diseases.
- Stem cells have a promising future as they could soon be used in the treatment of diseases and ailments which are considered incurable.
What Is The Collection And Storage Of Cord Blood
Cord blood banking is the collection and storage of the blood that stays in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord post-birth. Blood is taken after the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, a simple and painless procedure compared to the whole bringing-a-child-into-the-world aspect of it all.
The blood is collected because it contains various types of stem and progenitor cells, namely hematopoietic stem cells. So what makes this type of stem cell so damn special? Most cells are only able to make copies of themselves. Hematopoietic cells, on the other hand, can mature into different types of blood cells in the body, and it is this versatility that makes them such a promising component in treatments for everything from autoimmune disorders to some forms of cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma.
Stem cells from an umbilical cord have also been used in an experimental treatment of HIV that doesnt just treat the virus, it apparently cures the patient of HIV. The experimental procedure using umbilical cord blood has successfully stomped out the virus in three people, the most recent being a woman of mixed race known as the New York patient, who has not experienced any resurgence of the virus since her transplant 14 months ago.
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