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Cord Blood Storage: How Effective It Is

Aug 17, 2007
You are spending a lot of money in preserving your childs umbilical cord blood. Wouldnt you like to know how effective these banking measures are Here is a quick overview of how stem cells are preserved after being drained from the umbilical cord.

Cord blood Storage

The cord blood is stored in special bags or syringes and couriered to the blood bank centre
The blood is then labeled with the donors name, date of birth and other details
The Blood is given a registration number by which it can be identified
The cord blood is then sent for processing- A cryopreserving process
The temperature of the blood is slowly reduced in order to avoid a temperature shock
It is reduced till minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit
The umbilical blood is then transferred to liquid nitrogen tanks where the temperature stays steady at minus 321 degrees
Special care is taken to ensure that the cells do not get frozen ice on them- as it will damage the cell membranes permanently

Freezers in Cord blood banks

There are two types of freezers used in cord blood banks to preserve the stem cells.

The Dewars: These are usually used by public cord banks and some private banks
The BioArchive freezers: These are computerized freezers that can store large numbers of blood samples

Both these types are equally efficient in maintaining the temperature of the blood samples.

How Effective Is The Cord blood Preservation

Ideally, if preserved properly, cord blood should last forever. Again, this cannot be confirmed as the concept of this type of banking is relatively new. It started in the 1970s and no sufficient evidence is available to prove that your babys umbilical cord blood will last her whole life. Nevertheless, research shows that this blood saved for 15 years has been successfully used in transplants.

Your Choice

You need to think carefully about the viability of cord blood preservation and the expenses- Private banking or registry is an expensive option. On the one hand, you have a potential life saver for your child and her siblings and on the other hand you have thousands of dollars spent on a bag of blood, which will probably not be fit enough for use when your child needs it years later. Weighing the options is not easy. It is best to look at it as a health insurance for your family. In future, if things turn out well and your child is growing up healthy, you can opt for donating the umbilical cord blood to a person in need.

Another option is donating your babys cord blood to a public bank. Here, your babys stem cells will be used for saving other lives. You do not need to spend any money on this. Either way, banking is an option every parent should try out- for the benefit of society, if not for themselves.
About the Author
Do you know how effective and important is Cord Blood Banking Should you go for a private or public cord blood bank This decision is as important as your childs life. Get an understanding about cord blood storage and other stem cell related issues in simple terms at Cord Blood Banking.
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