Stem cell banking has more pros and hardly any cons. Should you bank your baby’s cord blood? Let’s find out
Your baby is your most precious possession, and your entire life revolves around him. Keeping him safe from harm, healthy and active throughout his life are your primary goals. But is it really possible to ensure his complete immunity to disease?
It is unthinkable but true that your child may fall prey to a serious illness with potential fatal results. As a parent, you may or may not be able to identify the early ill-health symptoms in children. If you have been able to identify any health issue on time, then you can get the child treated with the best that medical science can offer, but what if it isn’t enough? There is a way to ensure that your child’s future health remains in safe hands – by banking his cord blood at birth.
There are tremendous implications and benefits of cord blood banking:
1. Stem cells derived from cord blood may save your child from up to 80 serious disorders, including some cancers. In the event that your child needs stem cells for transplant or infusion in the future, his own cord blood may save his life.
2. Besides this, another benefit of cord blood banking lies in the fact that it may save the life of your child’s siblings or a close relative. Cord blood stem cells need not be a perfect match for the intended recipient – even up to four markers out of six may match for a successful donor transplant.
3. You can even choose to give up your stored cord blood sample for another, unrelated recipient in need of the stem cells from that sample. Parents have the option of withdrawing the sample for use with doctor’s permission. However, the sample is kept in cord blood banks for a period of 21 years only. Once the child crosses that age mark, the parents may decide to donate the sample to another needy person in their acquaintance.
Cord blood banking has tremendous potential in the sphere of public cord blood banking as well. Though public cord blood banking is not widely prevalent in India, it is just a matter of time before several public cord blood banks are set up here.
4. Perhaps the biggest benefit of cord blood banking lies in cord blood being a rich source of regenerative cells. Regenerative medicine employs stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood to repair damaged cells (arising from such diseases as cancer, for example) and tissues. It is learnt that stem cells from cord blood may go a long way in healing patients recovering from chemotherapy or organ damage arising from injury or illness.
Information source: parentsguidecordblood.org/reasons.php and cordbloodbanking.com/cord-blood/benefits/
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