Saving & reserving umbilical cord

Umbilical cord blood has been found to be a rich source of stem cells, which fulfill the role for generating blood cells in a human being throughout his life.

Saving umbilical cord blood is being promoted, as the saved cord blood can be used later in a person’s life in case he or she encounters a curable blood related disease.

Currently bone marrow is seen as the major source of stem cells while performing stem cell transplants. The problem with bone marrow is that it is difficult to find a matching donor as the number of people donating bone marrow is lot less than the patients waiting for a transplant.

Further donating a bone marrow for a transplant might be a painful experience for the donor. In case of cord blood, it is very easy and simple to collect.

The blood from the umbilical cord is drained after the baby’s birth and it collected in a special blood bag. This is later sent to blood banks for saving the umbilical cord blood.Cord blood banks help people in saving the umbilical cord blood of their babies.

Once a person decides on saving or donating their child’s umbilical cord blood, they have to get in touch with their physician or hospital which can provide the required details about collecting and saving umbilical cord blood and how it can prove to be useful to the same person or to anyone else who might be a matching recipient.

Cord blood banks normally perform certain tests on the collected cord bloods to ensure that they meet certain criteria before saving the umbilical cord blood. Currently both private and public cord blood banks provide the services of saving umbilical cord blood.

The process for collecting, testing and saving the umbilical cord blood is very similar in both cases. After the testing is done, the blood will be treated to protect the stem cells.

The banks generally use cryogenically cooled containers for saving the umbilical cord blood for a long time. In case of public banks the cord blood is tissue type and is stored in a database.

This kind of database is available for all hospitals to search and find a matching donor’s blood. Private cord blood banks provide the services of saving the umbilical cord blood and also reserving the same for use by the particular donor. In these cases, normally a fee is charged for the storage and reserving the cord blood.