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Umbilical Cord Blood Banking in 2012

Sponsored Article: This article is sponsored by CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank.

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking in 2012

During pregnancy, a couple is faced with many important decisions. One of the most crucial and least understood is the decision to bank their baby's umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood contains precious stem cells that can replace one’s bone marrow or be turned into the various cells of the body. These cells have capacity to heal damaged tissue and replace unhealthy cells allowing cures for diseases that may otherwise have no treatment. The cord blood is collected after the baby has been delivered, the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut and the baby is safely in the mother’s arms or the pediatrician’s care. Therefore, the cord blood collection will not harm the baby or the mother. The cord blood can be saved for the family’s possible future use or donated to a public bank.

Since 1988, cord blood has been used to treat more than 70 otherwise fatal diseases. Because of the many advantages of cord blood over bone marrow, the National Marrow Donor Program has facilitated more transplants using cord blood than bone marrow beginning in 2008. Over 30,000 transplants have been done worldwide to date. Currently, hundreds of clinical trials are ongoing and some are showing great promise in the treatment of Type I Diabetes, Spinal Cord Injury, Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy, to name a few. In the Cerebral Palsy trial, world renowned cord blood expert from Duke University Medical Center and CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank Medical Director, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, is treating children with Cerebral Palsy by transplanting them with their banked cord blood. Several families have given anecdotal reports of their children having dramatic improvement after receiving their cord blood. The trial will be completed in 2013, and the scientific results will be published following the conclusion of the trial.

With the continued advances in cord blood science, technology and expansion of clinical uses, expectant couples should seriously consider this potentially life-saving and life-changing option for their family. However, this is a complicated topic and reading various brochures or researching the Internet can make it confusing for expectant parents on which bank they should choose. Many differences in quality exist between the family banks and expectant parents need to be educated on how to choose the bank that utilizes the best technologies to protect their baby’s cord blood and which has the most experienced medical team.

For expectant couples having a baby in 2012, the decision to bank their baby's umbilical cord blood has never been more important due to the current uses and the promise for many exciting, possible, future therapies using cord blood.