Cord Blood Banking Pros And Cons
Umbilical blood has numerous advantages over bone marrow when it comes to stem cell transplant. Primary advantage of umbilical cord banking is its accessibility. Unlike bone marrow transplant, umbilical blood is easier to process and collect. If advantages is the obverse, disadvantages is on the reverse.
Pros of umbilical cord banking
" Readily available: A common practice in the past was to discard umbilical blood with the placenta after child birth. Now, cord blood is saved and transported to a storage facility. Such blood is readily available to process unlike bone marrow, which takes months.
" Pain free collection process: Collection of umbilical blood is painless for both the mother and child. Umbilical cord blood is either collected before birth or after the placenta is delivered.
" Relatively cheaper: In terms of umbilical cord blood collection, there is no exorbitant cost. Bone marrow collection requires an invasive procedure with additional anesthesia and hospital charges. Post collection, the donor is in discomfort and pain. Umbilical cord blood imposes no such discomfort.
" Provides relief for chemotherapy patients: Stem cells have proved to speed up recovery time in cancer patients. Cancer treatment demands aggressive methods like radiation which has a high tendency of killing healthy cells as well as cancerous cells. Stem cells bear the capacity to differentiate into healthy cells to compensate for indiscriminate loss during radiation therapy.
" Stem cell therapy: Stem cell therapy is the latest beacon in medicine for the cure of 'incurable' diseases. Since they possess the potential to differentiate into all cell types, they are attractive resources for radicle treatment approaches when traditional means fail to deliver expected results. Rather than using stem cells from bone marrow, which holds the risk of being immature, stem cells from the umbilical cord pose no such threats. Also, umbilical stem cells do not trigger an immune response on transplanting.
" Helps in research: Stem cells research is still in its formative years. Given the limited resources available for study, so much remains unknown. Donating umbilical cord blood to public banks gives access to those in need. Present research in stem cells has doctors and scientists analyze its potential to cure sickle cell anemia and spinal injuries.
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