Medical Technology

Reasons to Donate Cord Blood



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Many US hospitals have requested expectant mothers to donate cord blood cells for research. This is a service offered to expectant parents. The expectant mother must make a request for cord blood banking. The collection kit is issued in advance to the pregnant mother. The mother must carry the kit with her at the time of delivery. Other parents prefer to retain the cord blood cells for potential or essential health care in their own families. Choice is often determined by the financial status of the parent.However the moratorium on US stem cell research there are few reasons to donate the blood cord cells.

Sadly hospital staff seldom have adequate time for a full explanation of cord blood collection. While parents may have heard of the therapeutic value of these blood cord stem cells without few know its full value. A proper appreciation of cord blood stem cells value and the brief time frame in which they are available is still being studied. For only fifteen minutes after the umbilical cord is cut is the cord blood of value.

At birth these totipotent stem cells are available in the cord blood. The only other procedure of harvesting totipotent stem cells is to cut through living tissue and drill into living bone to withdraw bone marrow. These totipotent cells can create any part of the human body. Only totipotent stem cells carry the genetic instructions to create a new human being or repair any organ within the body.

There are four types of stem cells. Totipotent cells create the initial foetus and differentiate into organs and body parts. Pluripotent Cells can separate into many different cell types but lack the ability of totipotent cells. Multipotent stem cells can only reproduce their own kind. e. g. Blood stem cells can only create the different kinds of cells found in the blood stream. Unipotent cells can only recreate their own kind but have the property of cell renewal such as hair or skin.

Most of us have heard of stem cells volunteered from one family member to another to save life. This is normally done when a sick relative has their auto-immune system deliberately destroyed as part of cancer treatment. Harvesting the bone marrow containing autologous stem cells can be a painful procedure for both parties.

In addition to replacing the auto-immune system with autologous stem cells the British Health care system is experimenting with a new use for them. Cardiac patients are using autologous stem cells for cardiac repair. Those who cannot use cord blood cells are opting requesting this procedure.

In Bangkok and Shanghai Multipotent stem cells are taken from the blood of Cardiac patients and sent to Israel for further treatment. Theravita then reinjects the multipotent call into the diseased cardiac area. Many cardiac patients in hopeless situations medical and surgical situations have opted for this as a last hope procedure. Theravitae is hoping that increased numbers of patients will allow them to reduce the cost of this procedure.

Families that preserve the totipotent cord blood cells have fifteen years in which to use them. These cord blood stem cells can repair or preserve the life of a sick or injured infant, or other close family member. There is also the benefit that this is a painless procedure.

Cord blood is collected after the safe delivery of the infant and the placenta. The umbilical cord must be safely cut and clamped to ensure the infant's health. Priorities with this type of blood collection are always the health and safety of the mother and baby. On occasions when a Cesarean section is a necessary procedural, harvesting of cord blood may be necessarily abandoned by the medical staff.

Collect the cord blood safely means that the surface of the umbilical cord must be disinfected and a vein punctured. The cord blood is protected against contamination with the use of special blood collection bags. Cord blood can also be collected in 60cc syringes to which an anti-coagulant has been added. The stem cells are then frozen until required.

Nothing will be done until the infant is safely delivered and the mother has received all and any necessary attention. There is no pain to either mother or infant in this method of harvesting of cord blood. If the cord blood is not harvested by the medical team it will be consigned as human waste with the placenta. Neither mother nor child need fear this procedure. All that is happening is that a reserve gift from nature is being preserved for future uses.

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