Before we talk about banking cord blood benefits, we should address how this medical procedure can save lives. It’s considered a new innovation that can develop the current situation, and brings benefits to everyone.
What Is Banking Cord Blood
Banking cord blood is basically the process of collecting and keeping the blood found within the umbilical cord after a baby is born. This blood is considered special because it contains high level of hematopoietic stem cells. These cells have the ability to develop into various types of blood cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Of course, be ready to spend some extra if you decide to keep the blood in a certain safe perimeter.
Cord blood itself is precious as stem cells source. It has been implemented in medical treatments to treat different diseases, including blood disorders, certain types of cancer, and immune system deficiencies. It’s up to you, really, to decide whether you want to bank the blood. People may do this storing for various reasons, like the cost (it usually involves private banking), the possibility of stem cell transplant, and the medical history of the family. It’s always best to talk to the professional healthcare professionals or a cord blood banking facility, so you know your options before making an informed decision.
The General Benefits
Naturally, you can expect some banking cord blood benefits, such as:
- Future (medical) treatment. Thanks to the hematopoietic stem cells, the blood can be used in different medical procedures and treatments. These stem cells are special because they can regenerate. They can also develop into different types of blood cells. With the storage, you can be sure that these valuable stem cells would be preserved. As a result, it can be used in the future in case someone within the family needs one.
- Bone marrow transplants alternative. When compared to bone marrow transplants, the cord blood is relatively easier to collect. Not to mention that it can be stored for long time too. Moreover, the cord blood has smaller risk of infections transmission when compared to bone marrow. If you aren’t happy with invasive procedure, rest assured that cord blood is definitely less invasive.
Medical research advance. When cord blood is donated and it goes to public cord blood banks, it is helpful for new treatments development and medical research contribution. Scientists should be able to study cord blood stem cells, so they can understand genetics, diseases, and other potential therapies better.
The Pros and Cons
Let’s not forget about the banking cord blood pros and cons before you decide on having one. We have learned about the benefits on the previous sections. Now, let’s view the possible downsides.
- High cost. It’s not exactly cheap to bank the cord blood, especially if you go with the private banks. You will deal with initial fees, involving processing and collection. And there is the storage fee. It’s possible that the cost will go up over time.
- Limited use. In reality, the possibility of the stored cord blood is being used is quite low. In most cases, individuals who decide to bank the cord blood end up not using it, especially for medical purpose.
Seriously consider the pros and cons before making any decision. You should also think about individual circumstances as well as consulting with healthcare professionals. Sure, banking blood cord benefits are real, but is it worth it?