The umbilical cord blood is the blood that is found in the placenta and umbilical cord. It is extracted immediately after the birth of baby and is rich in valuable cells that can cure several diseases.
The placenta and umbilical cord are viewed differently by people around the world. In many cultures it is even revered, but in most of the cases, it is considered as a hospital waste. Research has been going on since past many years and it is now firmly established that umbilical cord is full o life giving cells. Scientists are now working overtime to develop techniques to preserve stem cells so that they can be used later on for treating any medical condition of the people or for scientific research.
Umbilical cord blood contains cells that are also known as stem cells. They are basic building block of every organ and part of our body. This has stirred up widespread interest amongst the scientists around the world.
Today scientists are trying to “grow” vital body organs for transplanting. Just imagine, how easy it would be if organs can be grown in laboratories or stem cells can be used for treating incurable diseases. This will give new lease of life to millions of people around the world.
Years of research in umbilical cord blood cells has now resulted in successful treatments for various diseases. Doctors are now using stem cells for fighting various diseases such as cancer, leukemia, spinal cord damage, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and so on. The best thing about such treatments is that their success rate is quite high as compared to traditional treatments. With emerging technology and techniques, the cost of treatment is also reducing to a certain extent. Today even many adult diseases such as diabetes, cancers and liver diseases are being tackled successfully. The medical community is hopeful many new successes in the coming years.
Cord blood banking
In cord blood banking, the stem cells are saved and stored for future use. In order to access these cells, doctors draw blood from the umbilical cord when baby is born. This blood is then dispatched to the bank who services are to be used by the parents. In the bank, stem cells are removed from the bank and stored for later use by the family.
Today large number of banks in private and public sector are promoting the importance of the storage of stem cells. It is being promoted as a kind of insurance policy for their kids. That is, save the stem cells now and then use them to treat any diseases that may afflict them in coming years. Isn’t that great!
Major public hospitals are now establishing cord blood banks and this cord blood is available to all those who need them for treating their health issues. Some quantity of stem cells is also made available to researchers for trailing numerous treatment programs.
As a parent, we all have a choice. If we can take initiative and save stem cells in a cord blood bank, or even donate it to a public cord blood bank, we would be doing great service both to ourselves and to our community.