Donating cord blood - is it possible?

Stem cell related problems affect people in various ways. Stem cells generate blood cells in a human body and so stem cell problem can translate into generating more or less number of blood cells than required.

Stem cell transplantation is widely used in cases where a person is being affected by a stem cell related disorder.

Bone marrow is a good source of blood cells, and has been used in stem cell transplants. Since blood cells needed for transplantation need to be a perfect match, most cases, they are taken from similar body part of a sibling or any other nearest family member.

Cord blood on the other hand, contains stem cells that are young and so can evolve into any blood type of blood cells– be it bone marrow or others – can serve the recipient in better ways. Also, they can be used for related persons, as well for unrelated persons for whom these stem cells are found to be suitable.

Donating of cord blood is a relatively new concept, as most people are under the impression that cord blood coming from a child, can be used only within the family. With this reasoning, new parents feel that since they do not have any known blood related diseases, or spinal cord related afflictions, or other neurological disorders within the family history, there is no apparent need for saving cord blood.

But, of late, promotions related to cord blood try to advertise the fact that the cord blood can be used to any matching person, who is in need and so donating cord blood is gaining prominence. Donating cord blood is a very easy and painless task.

It is very important that people start donating umbilical cord blood rather than discarding it after the baby’s birth or reserving it for their own private use. Currently the number of patients waiting for a matching cord blood type is far greater than the units of cord blood available from those who have been donating cord blood.

This is more so in case of specific ethnic groups where the concept of donating cord blood has not caught on.In these cases, it is very difficult for a patient to get a matching cord blood and so more people have to start donating cord blood.

Donating cord blood can save the life of a person waiting for stem cell transplant and can provide them a new life.