Placental Cord Blood Banking is the storage of stem cells from placenta from a baby’s birth. Usually, following delivery, the umbilical cord, cord-blood and placenta are typically discarded as medical waste. Cord-Cells are special cells in umbilical cord that are present in bone-marrow. Placental stem cells are non-embryonic stem cells. Both placenta and umbilical cord are good sources of stem-cells.
HISTORY The first clinically demonstrated use of cord blood stem cells was in the successful treatment of a 6year old boy, afflicted by Fanconi’s Anaemia in 1988. Since then, cord blood has become increasingly recognized as a source of stem cells that can be used in stem cell therapy.
HOW IT CAN BE HELPFUL As Placenta & Umblical cord contains large number of stem cells that can save lives. These cells can develop into RBC’s acting as oxygen carrier in human body, as well as WBC’s which can fight infection and PLATELETS that can help to stop the bleeding. Patients, whose bodies cannot make cells of their own, can be helped by healthy blood cells from a matched donor, or an umbilical cord or placental blood bank.
They can be useful in treatment of several life threatening diseases like leukaemia, lymphomas, parkinson’s disease and many other genetic diseases, cancers and blood disorders.
This can be certainly of great use, where suitable bone-marrow donor is not available.
Cord blood stem cells can be used for siblings and other members of family, who have a matching tissue type. Siblings have up to 75% chance of compatibility and cord blood may even be a match for parents (50%) & grand-parents too.
COLLECTION & PRESERVATION After baby is born, umbilical cord is collected by a health care provider. The collection takes about 5mins & is safe. Then these units are processed and then cyropreserved in liquid nitrogen tanks at -196 degrees Celsius. There is no heath risk involved with either baby or mother in collection.
WHY CORD BLOOD INSTEAD OF BONE MARROW The collection of bone marrow is very painful. Cord blood is an effective remedy and is comparable to bone marrow transplants for treatment of certain diseases.