July is Cord Blood Awareness Month, and this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about what cord blood is and what it can do. Cord blood can be used to treat more than 70 diseases, including blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Cord blood banking has only been in existence for around 25 years. The first cord blood transplant was performed in Paris in 1988 and since then over a million cord blood units have been collected.
What is Cord Blood & Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood is found in the blood vessels of the placenta and the umbilical cord. The blood is collected after the baby is born and the cord has been cut. This process is completely safe for the mother and the baby. After cord blood is collected, it is frozen and safely stored for many years. Parents have the choice of public banking or private storage:
- Public banking means that you donate baby’s blood for public use to others in need of it. After donation the family no longer has rights or access to the blood. Public banking incurs no storage or collection costs.
- Private storage means that the parents have chosen to keep it in case they need to use it on their own child or family. The family has full rights and access to the blood. Preservation costs vary depending on the bank.
For families wishing to do public banking, it is important to make sure that their hospital is capable of handling their wishes. More information on both public and private banking is available at Be The Match.
What Can Cord Blood Do?
Currently, cord blood is only approved for the treatment of blood-related illnesses. Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells that can be used in the treatment of patients with blood cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas, as well as certain disorders of the blood and immune systems, such as sickle cell disease and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
However, clinical trials are being conducted for the use of cord blood in the treatment of hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, and cardiovascular and auto-immune disorders. It is possible that in the future cord blood will be used to treat a wider range of diseases and disorders.
There is plenty to be discussed when talking about the collection of cord blood. If you are leaning towards allowing the collection of cord blood after delivering a child, check out websites like Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood and CordBlood.com to learn more about it.
Albuquerque ER & Hospital supports every family in our community as they research and make decisions about donating cord blood. In the case of emergencies, our facility is open 24/7 with highly trained doctors and nurses ready to give you the best in concierge-level care. Our convenient location offers compassionate care when your family, and the women in it, need it most.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Albuquerque ER & Hospital or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.