Cord Blood: What You Need to Know

Posted Friday, July 17, 2015

Did You Know?

15% of transplant patients receive Cord Blood

Tens of thousands of patients undergo blood-related transfusions each year as a result of a debilitating disease diagnosis. Treatments used to treat certain diseases can cause red and white blood cell counts to decrease to an extremely low number. While there are methods to restore these counts, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 patients in the United States have been unable to use blood donations because no suitable DNA match can be found.  However, there is an alternative solution that offers many advantages, called Cord Blood. 

The following guide will support the patient population in understanding what Cord Blood is, diseases that can be treated with Cord Blood and benefits.   

01 | What is Cord Blood?

Cord blood, or stem cells, is comprised of red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma that continue to multiply and produce additional blood cells. Cord Blood can only be found within the umbilical cord and/or placenta. 

02 | Diseases Cord Blood Treat    

There are well over 80,000 diseases that have been treated with Cord Blood with a large percentage of these diseases being cancer-related.

The following types of disease categories having been treated using Cord Blood are:   

  • Cancer affecting blood immune system
  • Genetic diseases
  • Inherited metabolic disorders
  • Blood cell proliferation disorders
  • Certain types of tumors

03 | Benefits 

Cord blood offers a number of advantages to donors and transplant recipients. When reviewing options with your medical provider, consider some of the benefits listed in choosing to use Cord Blood: 

  • Two Non-Invasive ways in the Collection of Cord Blood – the Cord Blood is collected immediately from the umbilical cord following the cord cutting process post-delivery of the new baby. Or Cord Blood can be collected from a newborn’s placenta after delivery.  
  • Autologous transplant – the ability to use your own stem cells.
  • Finding a Match - Cord Blood does not have to be a perfect match unlike bone marrow transplants require a perfect 8/8 DNA match.
  • Availability – when needing to use the stem cells for treatment, the stored Cord Blood can be provided within a week’s time frame. In emergency situations, the Cord Blood supply is provided in 24 hours.  
  • Slows Progression – post Cord Blood treatment within the early stages of a disease can slow the advancement of the diagnosed illness.
  • Viral Infections – after Cord Blood treatment, patients have a lower risk of developing a viral infection.  

For additional benefits and concerns of using Cord Blood, please consult your medical provider.

For more information on Cord Blood, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dba/stem.html

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References

http://parentsguidecordblood.org/diseases.php

http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/qa/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3209739/

http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/qa/comparison.html

http://www.cordblood.com/benefits-cord-blood

 

 

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