Cord Blood Awareness Month

This month is cord blood awareness, several people have no idea what it means (me included, until recently). Cold blood is important in the treatment of most genetic and hematopoietic disorders. Cord blood (Umbilical cord blood) is blood that remains in the placenta and in the attached umbilical cord after childbirth. It contain stem cells which can be used to treat genetic disorders, hence the reason behind the collection of the cord blood, after birth.

Furthermore, great progress has been made in the field of stem cell transplantation, particularly in regard to patient selection, modification of conditioning regiment and choice of the Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) as a stem cell donor source for UCB transplantation. UCB has been primarily used as a source of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant blood disorders, however emerging indication for allogeneic and autologous UCB cells in cellular regenerative therapy and immune modulation, for example, in neonatal hypoxic- ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy and diabetes, are being explored.

Image by StemCyte

Nonetheless, there is an ever rising demand for high-quality UCB units, which are stored between public banks, which units for the any patients in need and private banks, which store UCB units for use of the banking family. In 2017, there are approximately 730,000 UCB units stored in more than 160 public UCB banks, and more than 4 million UCB units have been stored by private sectors in approximately 215 private banks.

Since the first UCB treatment 1988, recognising the need for reliable, cost-effective sources of HLA-diverse, quality-controlled, and ethically sourced cord blood units for transplantation, there has been considerable growth of UCB banking. Alongside the increased medical use, there has been a growing body of research on the potential use of cord blood cells for treatment of both hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic diseases.

So, it is important for mothers to consider donating their cord blood (Umbilical cord blood) to the hospital after birth, to help in medical research for the treatment of hematopoietic and genetic disorders.

Armstrong and her colleagues have published a good article about ‘’current knowledge and practice of paediatric providers in umbilical cord blood banking’’, have a read, it really beneficial.

Thanks for your time!

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