Those that are considering cord blood banking really should know all that this miracle can do for you. Before you shove that paper away, thinking that donating your baby’s cord blood is “too gross” or “not something that is important,” realize all that cord blood can do for not only the public but also for you and your baby’s lives. Although the umbilical cord and placenta used to be considered just waste after the baby was born, today is a resource that is very much important to survival and a resource for extensive benefits. For that reason, it is important to understand how it works in this manner.
When your baby is born, if you have decided to donate or to bank the baby’s cord blood, the blood is collected from the placenta and the umbilical cord while it is still inside the mother or after it has been extracted. With this cord blood, there are many things that can be done. In the middle and late 1990’s, this cord blood was used to treat conditions such as Leukemia as well as Fanconi’s anemia, both potentially fatal conditions. When the cord blood which contains what is called hematopoietic stem cells is used, it can help to form new red blood cells as well as white blood cells and platelets in the receiving patient. Soon, it can be used to treat these diseases and then can improve the individual’s immune system.
In 1988, this was done to a child that had Fanconi’s anemia successfully. After that first, successful transplant took place, it was soon used for other conditions and diseases. There have been well over 6000 individuals that have had this procedure done with success. And, this is just for that one condition. Today, there are over 75 different diseases, immune deficiencies and other conditions that are treated with cord blood successfully.
The bad side of the coin is that it is still rather rare to find a match that is successful for the cord blood to be used. There are still not enough cord blood donations taking place that will provide for the necessary help needed to cure conditions like cancer and Leukemia. Yet, with more and more people considering cord blood banking, whether privately or publicly, it is likely that more and more miracles can happen. With the help of more education, more women and men will be able to see the true benefits of this treatment.