The ten most important questions and answers about umbilical cord blood

For some time, specialized blood banks have been offering parents the opportunity to store stem cells from umbilical cord blood. It is undoubtedly a good idea to remove and store the umbilical cord blood after delivery, because it can be invaluable for the baby later in life. However, before making the final decision it is advisable to clarify some important questions about umbilical cord blood and its actual benefits. Often expectant parents only realize for what purpose the blood is taken and what far-reaching effects it can have on their own lives.

How is umbilical cord blood taken?

Before the blood is taken from the umbilical cord, the baby is born completely alone. It does not matter whether it is a caesarean section or a natural birth, because in all cases the umbilical cord blood is useful. According to Kidsgo, it is even possible to have the blood taken after a water birth.

The attending physician needs a special set for taking the blood, which consists of some utensils. Only after the Abnabeln the blood in the clamped umbilical cord over a pointed needle in a sterile bag is led. Immediately thereafter, the transport takes place to a specialized blood bank.

Is the removal dangerous?

The removal is completely painless and there are no health risks.

Are there specific requirements for storage?

After transporting the umbilical cord blood to the blood bank, the blood is stored in a special way. Here are some important points to keep in mind to maintain the durability and integrity of stem cells:

  • Before storage, the umbilical cord blood is tested and examined under strict hygienic conditions.
  • The isolated stem cells are stored at a temperature of about -195 degrees Celsius.
  • All relevant data on the properties of the blood and stem cells are documented in writing.

How long does umbilical cord blood last?

Today, it is clear that correctly stored stem cells can last for many decades and can therefore be useful to their owners in adulthood. So it is possible to choose from different time models for private storage.

Against which diseases can stem cells from the umbilical cord blood help?

The healing potential of umbilical cord blood has not been fully explored, even after many years of research. However, the fact is that there are a large number of diseases in which the administration of umbilical cord blood or the stem cells can bring about a cure.

illnessstate of research
leukemiaEspecially with leukemia sick children, the chances of recovery with umbilical cord blood are very large. In adults, the amount of cells is not always enough, which is why it needs more than one donor.
autismThere are now several studies on the treatment of autism with umbilical cord blood. Concrete results on this topic are not yet available.
diabetesIn one study, patients with type 1 diabetes have been able to significantly improve their condition by treatment with umbilical cord blood.
cerebral palsyIn recent studies, it has been possible to mitigate the effects of this disease with the administration of umbilical cord blood.

Based on the four diseases mentioned, it is clear that umbilical cord blood is very important in medicine. After all, research is continuing to develop in this field, which is why more diseases will have a chance of being treated with umbilical cord blood in the future. Strokes, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and heart attacks are among the list of potentially curable diseases.

Is umbilical cord blood useful only for its former donor?

Not only your own child can benefit from the stem cells from his umbilical cord blood. So it is quite possible that even diseased family members can be cured by the stem cells. In addition, umbilical cord blood that is not stored privately but publicly donated is useful for any suitable recipient. For this reason, stem cell data are very well documented, recorded and made available internationally.

Is the removal always chargeable?

Only the private storage of umbilical cord blood can cost. The amount of these amounts depends on the duration of the storage and of course on the choice of the provider. However, there are two cases in which parents do not have to pay for the storage of umbilical cord blood:

The public donation benefits the general public, which makes it completely free for parents. The umbilical cord blood is removed for this purpose in the clinic and then fed to a public blood bank. There is a constant reconciliation of the genetic data of all potential recipients and once a suitable person is found, the umbilical cord blood can be used for them.

The directed donation is a special case in the field of umbilical cord blood removal, because already at the time of birth, the recipient of the blood is fixed. This can be, for example, a sibling, who can be cured by the administration of umbilical cord blood from a serious illness. Since the removal takes place in this case specifically for a healing purpose, health insurance companies take all arising costs.

What are the differences between a public donation and private storage?

The main difference is not the cost of a public donation versus private storage. The more decisive is the fact that the own child in the further course has no right to his own umbilical cord blood.

So if it needs its own stem cells in the future, they may already have been used for another donor. Basically, however, this is not always dramatic, because not all diseases make the administration of their own stem cells useful. For example, some diseases, such as leukemia, can only be cured with donated umbilical cord blood from another person, as their own stem cells most likely contain the leukemia predisposition from the very beginning.

Is the umbilical cord blood examined before storage?

As a rule, a thorough examination of the umbilical cord blood takes place. Here, the blood is also tested for pathogens.

Also, the number of stem cells is determined and there is a precise documentation of the genetic key points, on the basis of which the suitability of a later recipient can be ensured.

Can every extracted umbilical cord blood be used for storage?

It is not always possible to isolate sufficient stem cells from the umbilical cord blood sent in. In such a case, or even in the infestation of the blood with dangerous pathogens, a storage does not materialize.

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