Umbilical Cord Blood Storage Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is umbilical cord blood?
Umbilical cord blood is the blood that has been collected from the placenta and umbilical cord after birth of a baby.
2. Why is the blood from umbilical cord collected and stored?
The blood from umbilical cord contains blood-forming cells known as blood stem cells, like those found in peripheral blood and the bone marrow.
They can be used to treat different types of cancers (malignant growth disorders) , immune deficiencies, and genetic disorders such as thalassemia, aplastic and sickle cell anemia.
3. How is umbilical cold blood stored?
Umbilical blood can be stored in two types of banks, namely private and public.
4. How do private banks operate?
Cord blood stored in private bank is meant for specific or directed donation. It can be used to treat your relatives or someone you have specified.
Private umbilical cord blood storage banks normally charge a collection and annual storage fee.
5. How do public umbilical cord blood storage banks operate?
Umbilical cord blood stored in public banks can be used by anyone who requires it, provided the stems cells in it are compatible with the cells of that person.
The blood is tracked in a record so that it can be easily found when required. Public banks neither charges collection nor storage fee.
Donors are normally screened before birth. Screening encompasses a thorough check on their medical histories and those of their relatives. The objective is to identify any disorders.
6. Is the cord blood stored in a private bank listed on the national Match Registry?
The cord blood that has been kept in a private bank cannot be tracked on the national or international match registry.
7. Is the umbilical blood stored in a private bank for your relatives always be used if a person in your family needs it?
There are a number factors to be considered:
(a) The disease. The patients’ own stem cells cannot be used in treatment of certain diseases. For such diseases or infection, a transplant using stem cells donated from another person is the best choice.
(b) The match between patient and the cord blood unit. The probability that siblings will be compatible with each other is 1/4. The physician will decide how closer the match is needed to be.
(c) The quality. The umbilical cord blood unit must have sufficient stem cells
8. How long can be cord blood stored?
Cord blood can be store until it is administered to a patient who requires it. It is yet to be known the period a frozen cord blood can last, though blood stem cells can remain healthy for around 15 years.
9. Can cord blood stored in a public bank be made available worldwide?
Once the cord blood has been processed, tested and stored in public bank, it can be used by any patient anywhere in the world.
It will be assigned a unique identification number and listed on both international and national cord blood registries.
10. When should you contact umbilical cord blood storage bank?
The ideal time to get in touch with a cord blood bank is when your pregnancy is between 28 to 34 weeks.
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