from a newbornís umbilical cord was once considered a waste
product, but it actually contains potentially life-saving
cells. But how do you know if cord blood banking is right for
you? Dr. Seanna Thompson, Mayo Clinic Health System OB/GYN
physician, answers some common questions about cord blood
banking and what options are available.
blood is the remaining blood that was part of the umbilical
cord after birth. It contains cells called stem cells that can
be used to treat an estimated 70 different diseases, including
some cancers, blood disorders and inherited disorders of the
immune system. Examples include lymphoma, leukemia,
thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder), sickle cell anemia,
neuroblastoma and retinoblastoma.
cord blood collected?
blood is collected by your health care provider at the time of
delivery. The process used to collect the blood is simple and
painless. After the baby is born, the umbilical cord is
clamped. Blood is drained from the cord with a needle and bag
attached. After the bag is sealed, the placenta is delivered.
The process takes about 10 minutes.
cord blood stored?
and private cord blood banks provide options for storing the
private cord blood banks operate?
cord blood banks store cord blood for a fee for potential
future use by the same child or a family member if a disease
develops later in life.
public cord blood banks operate?
cord blood banks operate like blood banks. Cord blood is
collected for later use for anyone who needs it. The stem
cells in the donated cord blood can be used by any person who
matches. Public banks do not charge to collect cord blood.
there any limitations?
important to know that private cord blood banking is not
covered by insurance. It is also unknown how long cord blood
can be successfully stored. Although the probability of
needing cord blood is remote, research is ongoing to fully
understand the potential uses for this resource.
you are considering cord blood banking, consult your health
care provider. He or she can help guide you to make an
informed decision," says Dr. Thompson.