What is Cord blood registry?

Traditionally bone marrow has been considered as the best source of stem cells, which produce the blood cells required by the human body. The stem cells produce thousands of blood cells each day.

In some cases the stem cells get damaged and do not produce the correct amount of blood cells required. They either produce more number of blood cells or lesser number resulting in conditions like leukemia or anemia respectively.

Bone marrow transplant was the best available cure for such conditions. It was difficult to find a matching bone marrow donor and there is a long waiting list of bone marrow patients waiting for transplants.

Recently it has been discovered that the blood present in the umbilical cord of a baby can be safely removed after a baby’s birth and this has some special qualities.

This contains a rich amount of stem cells which can be used to produce the blood cells required.Anyone who wishes to donate or store their child’s cord blood should talk to their doctor or physician during their pregnancy period itself.

The required arrangements will be made and the cord blood will be removed after the baby’s birth.Since the blood is removed after a baby’s birth the baby or the mother are not harmed in any way.

The cord blood will then be tested to ensure certain eligibility criteria and then processed and stored in special containers where it can be stored for a long time. The cord blood will then be tissue typed and the information will be entered in a registry.

Public cord blood banks, maintain a registry of all the donors and the respective tissue types so that they are available if someone searches for a matching requirement.

In case of private cord blood banks too a registry will be maintained. In this case the cord blood will be reserved for use by the particular donor for his need or his family needs and the registry is used to ensure the same.

In case of a requirement of cord blood arises for a transplant, the hospital will first search the registry of public cord blood banks. The cord blood registry is well inter-linked and a search can be made across hospitals and sometimes even across countries.

Once a match is found, it can be requested and used for the transplant. Currently the uses and simplicity of storing or donating the cord blood is being realized and more and more people are donating the cord blood as well as using it during transplant.

The cord blood bank registry is thus getting bigger and better. It has been noted from the cord blood registry related studies that certain ethnic groups have not embraced cord blood donation to a large extent and thus facing a risk while requesting for matching cord bloods.