Major Breakthrough: Umbilical Cord Blood Can Save Cancer Patients

Major Breakthrough: Umbilical Cord Blood Can Save Cancer Patients

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Umbilical blood is present in the cord that connects the mother and her baby. Umbilical blood has a great significance and medical value as it contains stem cells. This blood can treat many life-threatening genetic disorders.

Why umbilical cord blood is so important?

There are immature blood-forming cells in the umbilical cord blood. This feature makes it an alternative to bone marrow for patients who cannot find any matched bone marrow donor.

Child’s growth while in the mother’s womb requires oxygen and nourishment. Many essential substances get passed from the mother’s blood to the child’s blood through umbilical cord. Surprisingly, this life-saving blood belongs to the child and not the mother.

Life threatening diseases such as leukemia, anemia/anaemia and other forms of cancers can be treated with the help of umbilical cord blood.

Donating umbilical cord blood is safe

Donating the cord blood is not only painless, it is also fully safe. There are well laid guidelines for ensuring good health and safety of recipients and donors.

Donating this blood will not harm the baby or the mother in any way possible. This painless procedure will not change the process of birth.

So how this blood is collected?

Right after the baby is born, umbilical cord is clamped and cut. About 100 to 140ml of blood is collected from the cord and placenta. This life saving blood is collected in a bag and sent for examination. In case the blood does not contain significant amount of blood-forming cells, it is not stored and cannot be used for transplant. This blood however does not go to waste, as it can be used for valuable research in the lab. The entire thing only takes about five minutes.

Note: This procedure is not carried out without consent of the mother.

You can become an umbilical cord blood donor

Donation of cord blood needs some advance preparation. In you 33rd week of pregnancy, you should contact the blood bank of your hospital or you can just tell your doctor about it. Donating umbilical cord blood will not affect your baby or you in any way. Doctors will examine your full medical history to make sure you qualify for the donation. This procedure is carried out in expert supervision and hardly includes any complications. Your donation can save lives of people in the rare and unfortunate situations.

11 Comments

  1. Rihan Goyal says:

    WOW! I never knew that this type of cord bank existed and I have never had any of my doctors tell me what they are going to do with my babies cord once cut.I am so stunned.

  2. Catherine Natal says:

    We dontated our first sons cord blood with no problems at all. It was a great experience.

  3. Kanika Mehta says:

    Oh, please donate your baby’s cord blood! My husband had a bone marrow transplant 2.5 years ago, and though his transplant was not from cord blood, he met many people whose lives were made better through the blood of two baby’s umbilical cords!

  4. Dr. Nair says:

    I hope that in the future the cost for storage and collection is lowered so many more benefit from this wonderful treasure!!

  5. Arushi Singh says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I see so much advertising for private banks, but what people don’t realize is that transplants from unrelated cord blood donors are what saves lives. I donated both my boys cord blood and will do so with my third as well.

  6. Mithaya says:

    It’s great to know that this kind of thing creates hope to other people, I’ll be giving birth to my 2nd Child this coming August, I honestly decided to donate my cord blood in due time.

  7. Sujoy Nag says:

    Someone who we’ve never met donated their cord blood for our child. They gave my daughter a chance to fight leukaemia and they saved her life.

  8. Akant Shah says:

    There are several advantages of using umbilical cord blood stem cells over bone marrow stem cells for transplants. The collection process for cord blood is not painful to either mother or child and can be done either prior to or after the delivery of the placenta.

  9. Blanca says:

    Another advantage of using umbilical cord blood stem cells is the decreased risk of the transmission of infectious disease.

  10. Neha Goel says:

    If you are considering banking your baby’s cord blood, you have probably done some research and found out that cord blood isn’t the body’s only source of stem cells. It’s true, stem cells are also found in bone marrow.
    Cord blood is the best source of stem cells for three reasons: Better Quality, More Flexibility and Lower Risk.

  11. Ria Kohli says:

    This article brings another realization for me about cord blood banking. This method must be tried to save our children’s life. I have witnessed it as this treatment successfully cured a friend’s daughter for cerebral palsy with stem cells.

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