What is Cord Blood Bank

A cord blood bank is a place where the cord blood is stored in special bags and in special containers where they can be stored for a long time and can be retrieved in case of a need.

Cord blood has been found out to be a rich source of stem cells, which generate the blood cells in a human body. These stem cells can sometime break down and can produce excess blood cells or fewer blood cells than required.

Both of these conditions can create problems for a patient and the damaged stem cells have to be removed and replaced by healthy stem cells. Bone marrow is a rich source of stem cells, and hence bone marrow transplant has been the best cure for these conditions.

Recent discoveries have shown that the blood in the umbilical cord of a baby, contains a small amount of blood after the baby’s birth and this blood contains stem cells which can be used to treat the conditions mentioned above.

Cord blood can easily be removed after a baby’s birth and does not cause any harm to the baby or the mother. The cord blood thus removed will be tested to ensure that is of a minimum required amount to be eligible to store in a bank.

Also it will be tested to ensure that it is not infected and is absent from other kinds of problems. Once the cord blood is found suitable, it will be processed and will be stored in the cord blood bank, in special containers. Here, it can be stored up to ten years and can be retrieved when required for a stem cell treatment.

A cord blood bank also maintains a list of the cord blood available with the tissue type information. This is required for anyone who is looking for a suitable matching cord blood. The cord blood can then be requested from the bank, retrieved ,and then used for the transplant operation.

Once someone decides to use a cord blood bank, one can use a public or private cord blood bank. While a public cord blood bank offers most of the services for free, in case of a private cord blood bank, the storage services are available for a fee and the cord blood will be reserved for the donor whenever he requires it for his treatment or for his family. In both cases donations are free of charge.