By Sasha P. Rincon

Understanding the ins and outs of banking cord blood

If you’re expecting a baby you might have thought about umbilical cord blood and what to do with it. Here is a breakdown of the process and benefits to weigh as you consider your options.

What is Umbilical Cord Blood?
Cord blood is an easily accessible source of stem cells that is available only when a baby is born. Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after the baby is born. Routinely the cord blood and the placenta are discarded as after birth waste. Parents miss out on the opportunity to collect newborn stem cells at the only time they are available, immediately following their child’s birth.

Why is it so important for me to consider?
One of the overarching reasons brings into focus that stem cells in the umbilical cord are genetically unique to your baby and family. They can be used to treat various medical problems for your child, his or her siblings and other family members. Taking into account that more than 80 diseases are now treatable using cord blood stem cells, the motivation for collecting this valuable and potentially life-saving material is quickly coming into focus for as a medical benefit.

There are several advantages of using umbilical cord blood stem cells over bone marrow stem cells for transplants. The first advantage is that umbilical cord blood is relatively easy to collect and process. Once it is collected, the cord blood stem cells can be available for use within as little as 48 hours. In contrast, bone marrow stem cells (the alternative) can take much longer to find a match, collect the sample, and process; with the bone marrow transplantation taking from weeks to months.

Another advantage is the collection process for cord blood; it’s not painful to either mother or child and is performed after the delivery of the baby. Bone marrow transplants, on the other hand, require the donor to be hospitalized, anesthetized and experience post collection pain and discomfort. Thus, compared to cord blood, bone marrow collection and transplantation of stem cells are more costly.

The stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood are also less likely than bone marrow stem cells to be rejected in transplants. Some conditions that can be treated with cord blood cells include: cancers, blood disorders and immune disorders.

Why the sense of urgency as you approach your child’s birth?
Cord blood (along with cord tissue, which also contain stem cells) can only be collected right after a baby is born; specifically within minutes of the birth. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand your baby’s and your family’s future options for medical treatment.

The next important step to understanding the benefits is just as vital to pick the right facility to aid in the process. The Fertility Center of Las Vegas Stem Cell Division – Cord Blood CryoSource was created over ten years ago as Southern Nevada’s first umbilical cord blood processing and storage facility. With qualified technicians and doctors with more than 30 years of cell cryopreservation experience and commitment to the cord blood process; the facility focuses its efforts on offering patients all the benefits of a large national organization; with the ease and personal attention of a local center.

Office contact information Cord Blood CryoSource
2769 Sunridge Heights Pkwy #110
Henderson, NV 89052