Cord blood storage

Many women give birth and believe the umbilical cord is useless after birth. Often it is disposed of without ceremony, and it was only recently that the life-saving properties of umbilical cord blood were discovered. Since this discovery, more mothers are interested in cord blood storage, not just for their own children and families, but to donate to others who may need life saving transfusions right away.

Cord blood storage is not so difficult to arrange, but it requires advanced planning. A pregnant woman intending to donate blood from her umbilical cord after birth must confirm her plans with the hospital upon registering. She will be given a questionnaire to determine if she is an ideal donor. Once this has been established, the blood will be taken immediately after birth for cord blood storage. Many families have their own banks for cord blood storage in case someone in the family may need a transfusion someday. Others give their cord blood to others who are suffering from otherwise deadly diseases for which rich cord blood is needed.

Those who can benefit the most from cord blood storage are those with leukemia or lymphoma and who would otherwise require transplants from family. These patients often face great difficulties, because they must find an exact match within their families, and often fail to find what they are looking for. Seven out of ten patients must look elsewhere, and that is one reason why cord blood storage has been such a miracle for these patients. Cord blood is rich in blood-producing substances needed by these patients. It is difficult to replenish lost blood cells, but cord blood produces new cells efficiently. A successful transfusion from cord blood storage may extend or save lives. To donate cord blood, a woman must be healthy and lack certain conditions that may make her ineligible. All cord blood is tested before it is placed into cord blood storage.

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