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Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells: A LifeSaver for A LifeTime

The birth of a child presents a one-time opportunity to help his/her family by collecting and storing the child’s umbilical cord blood.  That’s because cord blood contains stem cells that could one day save that child or of one of the child’s siblings against many diseases. Harvesting stem cells from a baby’s umbilical cord blood poses no risk to mother or the child.

Umbilical cord blood is used today to treat many life-threatening diseases including leukaemia, certain other cancers and blood, immune and metabolic disorders. Using own family’s cord blood can have many advantages in treatments, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes.

Banking cord blood is a safe and painless procedure that usually takes less than five minutes and happens immediately after birth. After the umbilical cord has been cut, the remaining blood in the cord is collected with help of a “Syringe.”. The cord blood is then shipped to the laboratory, processed, and frozen in cryogenic storage tanks. Collection of this blood does not hamper future birth process. This blood has some unique features, which is, that they can identify different blood cells, which are important and present in body. This blood when transfused in body of a person, helps in increasing their level of stamina and immune system is made strong. Any member of the family who is a suitable match may be able to use the baby’s cord blood stem cells for transplant medicine. Siblings are most likely to be compatible matches with 25 percent of these cases offering a match.

Stem cells are very important cells in body of a person and babies especially. These cells have some extraordinary features; they can regenerate themselves easily without help of any other cells. These cells help in proper functioning and building of vital body organs. These cells help in creating tissues essential for body. Stem cells are found in every part of body as it helps in functioning of body parts. Cord blood stem cells are biologically younger and are more flexible compared to adult stem cells from other sources like bone marrow.  Stem Cell Banking helps in providing stem cells, which is important for body functions.

Scientists are still examining cord blood stem cells and perfecting how to use these stem cells in various treatments. It is hoped and expected that, in the future, cord blood stem cells will be used to treat many other disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease (a neurological illness), spinal cord injury and stroke. Presently the umbilical cord is a rich source of lifesaving stem cells that can protect a child from over 80 medical conditions today and many more in the future.

“Stem cell banking is better than life insurance because of the potential, to give an extended period of life,”

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