What is Cord blood transplant?

Stem cells are the source of blood cells in a human body. Stem cells generate all the blood cells that are required in a human being’s life time.

When the stem cells get damaged, they may not generate the blood cells in the required amounts. If more number of blood cells are generated it results in conditions like leukemia, whereas if the number of blood cells generated is less than the required amounts, then conditions like anemia occur.

Both of these are treatable in many ways, but in case of serious problems bone marrow transplant was the best available option.

Recently another new method of treatment has been found out, called the cord blood transplant. It has been discovered that the cord blood in the umbilical cord of a baby contains a small amount of blood that is very rich in stem cells which can produce a good number of blood cells.

This cord blood can be very easily collected after the baby’s birth without any harm to the baby or its mother. The cord blood can then be stored and used in transplant operations.

Cord blood transplant is being increasingly seen as an option in case of stem cell problems. Cord blood transplant is very easy and simple compared to a bone marrow transplant.

Cord blood collection is very simple and safe. After the birth, the blood from the umbilical cord is collected in special bags. The cord blood is later tested to ensure that it is eligible for storage and can be use d in case of a transplant.

Once the cord blood is found suitable for transplant, it is treated and stored in large containers which can store the cord blood for a long time (around ten years) to be retrieved and used in case of a transplant need.

Cord blood storage centers, also perform a tissue type on the cord blood and will then store the information in their database, which is normally available for all transplant requirements all across the world.

In case of a matching need, this cord blood will be taken out, transferred, processed and will be used in the transplant surgery.

The donation of cord blood is generally free and public cord blood banking centers will process and store the cord blood and generally one will also be able to retrieve it for free incase of a need. In case of private cord blood banks the cord blood is stored for the specific person for a fee.