Minggu, 15 Maret 2009

Pros and Cons of Banking Cord Blood

By : Larry Mitchell

Many parents choose to bank cord blood from their newborn child to try to protect their future health. This practice is becoming more and more popular, especially in recent years, as the baby’s umbilical cord blood contains stem cells, which have been a recent focus of the news media. Stem cells are cells that lack any predestination, meaning they can be used for anything. A stem cell can become a nerve cell, blood cell, bone cell, or anything in between. Instead of discarded cord blood in the delivery room, as was practiced in the past, many parents now make the investment to bank cord blood for the future. As an alternative to storing your child’s cord blood, many parents also choose to donate the cord blood to a cord blood registry or for research purposes in an effort to cure diseases and better understand the workings of the human body.

When making the decision to bank cord blood, consider weighing the following pros and cons provided by the informative Web site Should You Bank Cord Blood in order to make a clear, well-informed choice:


Donation Solutions: In the event of your child—or any other children you may currently have or will have in the future—needs a transplant, the cord blood will be well within your reach. This is especially important for children of some races, as finding a proper match can be more difficult and depend greatly upon location. Furthermore, matches for critical aspects like bone marrow are a great deal more difficult without having cord blood on hand.

Treatment Possibilities: Hopefully, this will not be of concern for any of your children, but banking cord blood can widen the treatment possibilities when dealing with many diseases. To date, cord blood is used to treat over 45 diseases and disorders, including leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and metabolic disorders. This is especially critical if you have any family history of such diseases or disorder, since many of these medical issues are genetic and can potentially be passed to the next generation.

Compatibility: Since the banked cord blood comes directly from the infant and is comprised of very early stem cells, the risk of incompatibility diminishes. In many instances, cord blood donations from family members can be denied by the body, creating a condition known as graft vs. host disease. Fortunately, with your own banked cord blood, this is generally not a problem.


Price: By far, the most constrictive aspect of banking your child’s cord blood is the price. However, many companies offer free storage or storage at a reduced rate for cases deemed “at need.” This is usually cases regarding children that are known to be suffering from some type of disease or disorder before birth, or who have a significant chance of developing an issue due to family history. Before you balk at banking your child’s cord blood, consider the insurance factor for the future. Just like a traditional insurance plan, banking cord blood serves as a backup in case the worst happens.

Need: Fortunately, the need for cord blood is not great and your child—or other children—will hopefully never need a transplant with this lifesaving blood. Generally speaking, approximately one in 20,000 families that bank cord blood actually use the blood at some date. However, just like any other insurance policy, the cord blood is there if it is needed.

Size: With today’s technology, the cord blood cells can only be used for an individual under about 115 pounds. This includes most children and some smaller adults; however, the success rate with larger adults over this 115 pound mark is minimal. Keep in mind, technology is still advancing, so there is a chance that these problems will be solved in case the cord blood is needed in the future.

Larry Mitchell is a San Francisco based author.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Larry_Mitchell

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