Is It Necessary to Store Cord Blood and Tissue for Each Child?

In recent times, there is a growing awareness about the benefits of preserving cord blood and tissues. Cord blood and tissue banking now exist primarily to help support such endeavors. If you are on the fence about preserving your child’s cord blood and tissue, access to more information on the topic can help you in making an informed decision.

It is not essential to store each child’s cord blood and tissue but it certainly is extremely beneficial for them.

More about Cord Blood and Tissue

Cord blood is nothing but the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after birth.

It contains special types of cells (hematopoietic stem cells) that are helpful in treating various diseases; including some rare ones. These special cells can form into various types of blood cells, unlike other cells that can only replicate themselves. Hematopoietic stem cells are generally found in the bone marrow. It is easier to collect and store cord blood and tissue than collecting bone marrow.

Hematopoietic stem cells can help to cure immune diseases, blood disorders, metabolic conditions, neurological conditions, genetic disorders, and more. It can help treat various cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia. These cells can also be used to strengthen the immunity of cancer patients. These cells are also found to be helpful in treating rare conditions such as thalassemia and sickle cell disease.

Cord tissue is the umbilical cord. For storage purposes, a section of it is cut and used.

Cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). It can differentiate into different organ cells and tissues such as those belonging to the muscles, heart, bone, and nerves. The use of cord tissue is recent compared with the use of cord blood. Research on the use of the former is mostly in the experiential phase. But it has shown great promise for treating heart disease, strokes, cancers, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, and other conditions.

The Need for Storing Cord Blood and Tissue for Each Child

Other than the afore-mentioned benefits, there is another aspect to this matter. A child’s own stem cells cannot be used to treat his or her genetic conditions. The child’s cells will contain the genes that caused the disease in the first place. Also, a child’s stem cells cannot be used to treat his or her leukemia. But another person’s (adult or child) stem cells can be used to treat these conditions.

For this reason, stem cell transplants are fairly common. Your child’s stem cells can benefit another person and vice versa. If the match between two people is good, the transplant of cells is possible to treat leukemia and genetic disorders.

In case, the stem cells of a person are not sufficient, you may require the same from several donors.

Finding a match for stem cells between siblings is high. But there is still a chance that there may not be a match between siblings. For this reason, it is important to store each child’s cord blood and tissue separately.

In the case of identical twins or multiple births, the cells may be identical too. But if both children suffer from the same condition, you may need large quantities of cells or tissues. It is best to store each child’s cells separately.

The Availability and Other Factors

Collecting bone marrow is painful. But collecting the cord blood and tissue has no such issues. It is also much easier. The process of collecting cord blood doesn’t interfere with the delivery. It can also be done to post a C-section delivery.

Bone marrow also needs to be used soon after collecting it. But you can store cord blood and tissue for years and use it as needed. So, it is best to not rely on stem cells that you can collect from bone marrow. You may not even find a perfect match for it. There is also a greater chance of rejection from bone marrow transplant as opposed to cord blood.

The Closing Note

Storing cord blood and tissue doesn’t take much effort. You can also find the cost for cord blood and tissue banking within your budget by comparing costs with different companies. With so many benefits of storing cord blood and tissues, it is rather useful to do so for each child.

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