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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Do we need to preserve cord blood for every newborn?


Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. It contains special cells called stem cells, which can develop into different types of blood cells and help treat various diseases and disorders. Cord blood banking is the process of collecting, processing, and storing cord blood for future use.


Cord blood banking has many potential benefits, but it also has some drawbacks and limitations. Here are some points to consider before deciding whether to preserve cord blood for your newborn.


Benefits of cord blood banking

  • Cord blood stem cells can be used to treat many types of diseases, such as cancers, genetic disorders, immune system conditions, and neurologic disorders.

  • Cord blood stem cells are more likely to match the recipient than bone marrow stem cells, which means they have a lower risk of rejection and complications.

  • Cord blood stem cells can support the immune system during cancer treatments, unlike bone marrow stem cells.

  • Collecting cord blood is safe, painless, and harmless for both the baby and the birthing parent.

  • Cord blood can be frozen and stored for a long time, making it readily available when needed.

  • Donating cord blood to a public bank is free and can help save the lives of others who need stem cell transplants.


Drawbacks and limitations of cord blood banking

  • Cord blood does not contain enough stem cells for an adult transplant, which means that multiple donors may be needed.

  • Storing cord blood in a private bank can be expensive, with initial fees and annual fees that may vary depending on the bank.

  • Using your own child’s cord blood to treat their disease may not be effective, as their stem cells may have the same genetic defect or cancerous cells as their diseased cells. Most cord blood transplants are from unrelated donors.

  • Not all hospitals offer cord blood collection for public donation, and not everyone is eligible to donate cord blood.


Disadvantages of preserving cord blood in private bank

  • It can be very expensive, with initial fees and annual fees that may vary depending on the bank.

  • It may not be useful for the child or the family, as the chances of needing a stem cell transplant are very rare.

  • It may not be effective for the child, as their cord blood may have the same genetic defect or cancerous cells as their diseased cells.

  • It may not last for more than 20 years, as there is no guarantee that the stored cord blood will remain viable for a long time.

Summary

Cord blood banking is a personal choice that depends on your family’s medical history, financial situation, and ethical values. It's not that useful to preserve cord blood in a private bank. You should consult your doctor and do your own research before choosing whether to preserve cord blood for your newborn.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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