Cord blood and Stem Cells
Cord blood contains high concentrations of stem cells. From those cells, all new blood cells, the body’s immune system and other organ tissues develop. These cord blood stem cells produce the cellular ingredients necessary for the blood and the immune system. When the umbilical cord blood cells are transplanted into patients, they can help restore the immune and blood systems to help fight diseases and replace diseased blood.Recent studies have shown that cord blood has unique advantages over traditional bone marrow transplantation, particularly in children, and can be life-saving in rare cases where a suitable bone-marrow donor cannot be found. Approximately 50% of patients requiring a bone marrow transplant will not find a suitable donor within a critical period. In certain instances, there may be some medical issues around using one’s own cord blood cells, as well as availability of cells, which will require treatments done using cells from another donor, with the vast majority being unrelated donors. However, studies have shown that cord blood stem cells can also be used for siblings and other members of your family who have a matching tissue type. Siblings have up to a 75% chance of compatibility, and the cord blood may even be a match for parents (50%) and grandparents.
How Is Umbilical Cord Blood Collected ?
Cord blood collection is simple and poses no risk to you or your baby. Immediately after your baby’s delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and the baby is separated from the cord. At this point, the needle attached to the collection bag is inserted into the vein in the umbilical cord. The placental blood/umbilical cord blood, drawn by gravity, then flows into the collection bag. The bag comes equipped with an anti-coagulant to keep the blood from clotting before it reaches our laboratory. Unlike traditional bone marrow collection, which usually requires general anesthesia and recovery, the process of collecting cord blood is non-invasive, painless and generally takes just three to five minutes to complete. Salveo will supply you with a cord blood collection kit once you enroll, prior to your baby’s delivery date. You simply bring the kit to the hospital for the physician or midwife to collect the cord blood after you deliver.