July also brings awareness to Cord Blood. Every baby is born with its umbilical cord attached to him/her, the blood inside the cord holds new stem cells. A stem cells is a multicellular organism that can give rise to many more of the same cell. The stem cells in the cord blood have been used in treatments to help children exchange damaged blood cells with strong ones to strengthen their immune systems. The way the stem cells are collected and stored is called Cord Blood Banking.
Since Cord Blood is strong in stem cells, it can be used to treat different diseases that harm the blood and immune system, such as sickle-cell anemia, leukemia, metabolic disorders and some cancers. There are different ways of getting stem cells, but cord blood is the easiest way to match with a patient. Cord Blood has been used in more than 35,000 transplants worldwide. Cord Blood can also be used in regenerative medicine, treating autism, spinal cord injuries, hearing loss, cerebral palsy and more.
The collection of cord blood does not hurt the mother or the baby! After the baby’s born, the cord is clamped and cut. The doctor then inserts a needle to collect the remaining blood in the cord. After the blood is collected it’s taken to the cord blood bank, from there the stem cells are separated and frozen in liquid nitrogen. The baby and even its siblings can be saved with Cord Blood. If you know anyone or if you are having a baby, talk to your doctor about saving the baby’s cord blood, It can save lives.