Umbilical Cord Blood: Source of Stem Cells or a kind of Medical waste

What is a cord blood?

What does a cord blood mean? Does it have any importance in the future after our baby’s birth? Many times I wonder what exactly it is, as I never came across with this term earlier in my school days neither my parents were ever informed about cord Blood during my birth. But in the past few years cord blood suddenly became an essential fact of an element in the medical world, we suddenly start seeing its advertisement on television and on the other platforms of information.cord blood

Soon I saw medical fraternities informing about the importance of umbilical cord and cord blood tissue banking to the pregnant ladies coming for routine checkups. There was also a cord blood awareness month organized by few hospitals in the United States a few years back. So what do we understand by Cord Blood or Cord Blood Tissue- We majorly know it as stem cells as that is what is being promoted on TV channels.

In Simple language “The blood within your baby’s umbilical cord is called ‘Cord Blood’. It contains the same powerful stem cells that help your baby develop organs, blood, tissues, and the immune system during pregnancy. After your baby is born, and even after delayed cord clamping, there is blood left over in the umbilical cord that can be collected, saved, or ‘banked.’

In Medical language, it is the blood which remains in the Placenta and the attached umbilical cord after the birth of the baby. This blood is collected because it contains stem cells which can be used to treat genetic disorders and other blood-related diseases. It has got essential medical importance; it is used in the same way as the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is used to replace bone marrow for various blood cancers and multiple forms of anemia.

The cord blood consists of the elements found in the whole blood, and it contains red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma platelets which are utilized in blood circulation. You’ll find plenty of procedures for collecting cord blood. The method commonly used in medical practice is the “Closed Technique.”

cord blood

This technique is similar to standard blood collection technique, with this method the technician cannulates the vein of the umbilical cord by using of a needle that’s joined to some blood vessel or bag, and the blood flows through the needle into the container. Usually, the closed technique allows collection of roughly 75 ml of blood.

The collected blood is cryopreserved and then stored in a bank for potential transplantation in the future. Stem Cells collection is generally depleted of red blood cells until cryopreservation to ensure high rates of stem cells retrieval.

Read more on cord blood tissue

What is Cord Blood Banking?

Banking the blood includes a few, if any, risks. If a child’s cord-blood is not collected for preservation or research, it is then spilled. If you need to be contemplating banking of the blood, then you must look at the gaps between owning it to a public and private center.

The stem cells banking is a process where cord blood – an abundant source of stem cells is taken from the umbilical cord after the delivery and then preserved for research usage within a stem cell transplant. If the collected blood is not preserved for research, then it is discarded.

So, if you are thinking of banking the blood, you must consider the difference between using a public and private center of this blood banking. Below is summarized information on the public and private center.

Public Cord Blood bank center

You may select this alternative if you would like your child’s cord blood to be available for public or research use. The placenta blood from unrelated donors may be utilized in the treatment of conditions like leukemia. Cord blood can also be collected in any center where the healthcare providers are skilled to recover the placenta successfully. General public facilities usually do not charge to store the blood.

However, there may be a hospital fee for the collection. The donation is then subsequently sent into a cord blood bank. The blood banked in a general public program would not be available for future private use.

Private cord blood bank center

You may select this choice if you wish to conserve your infant’s placenta blood for possible personal use. The price could be substantial, such as the collection charge and continuing maintenance charges, although the chances of your son or daughter would utilize the banked blood remains very remote.

Additionally, if a child wants a stem cell transplant, there is no warranty that the blood is going to stay workable or suitable to get a transplant.

The Science of this placenta blood continues to evolve day by day, and the private banks use that as a selling point. Banks occasionally informs few donators about their cord blood that they do not have sufficient cells to be clinically used in the future, there might be technological innovation to generate more cells using precisely the same genes; therefore, it makes sense to pay a little more amount to store the cord blood.

“Of course mothers will be inclined to state that if there is some possibility that the blood could be used properly, “then we need to save them.”

Read About its banking

What Is Cord Blood Good For?

While the science of stem cells took off in the 1990’s, health practitioners found that the stem cells found inside the umbilical cord may provide a lot safer alternative to bone marrow transplants to treat conditions like leukemia, lymphoma, along with sickle-cell anemia. At this moment, the public cord blood donation program and also the private cord blood storage industry has emerged.

The collected blood features genuine health uses. However, the question is if someone requires their particular or perhaps a sibling or if cord blood may function successfully transplanted out of a general public bank as normal blood.


The benefit of using own cells provide a source of blood precursor cells is that there isn’t any threat that the individual’s body would refuse it. An individual’s own cord blood cells are also utilized to cure few medical conditions, like brain, retinal and pancreatic ailments, which donated cells cannot. However, in such scenarios, the stem cells something of a Hail Mary pass. They cannot defect, and they may help.

But, you can find a few drawbacks of using your genetic material. A child having a hereditary disorder cannot turn to their own personal preserved stem cells to get healed as those cells also carry the disease.

Pediatric leukemia has become most frequently treated illness with cord blood from registries, as stated by Dr. Pablo Rubinstein, Director of the National Cord Blood Program in the New York Blood Center. But youths cannot be medicated by using their personal stored cord-blood as, research suggests, precursors of cancer often exists.

Parents having a young child with such conditions can, though, put their second child’s blood hoping to cure the elder, ailing sibling. A sibling’s cord blood has almost 25 percent chance of an ideal match. Medical classes and public cord blood banking centers agree that it’s a reasonable selection for parents in such cases to store cord blood privately.

Although, 96 percent of most patients who want a cord blood transplant find a decent match at the public banks, according to Mary Halet, the central region director of ‘Be the Match’, the national bone marrow, and cord blood registry. The registry handles the supply of cord blood that is donated.

It is much easier to find a stem cell match than a bone-marrow match. Rubinstein quotes that the private CBR has utilized only 200 of its 500,000 units, majorly for experimental remedies. Even the National Cord Blood Program has provided more than 5,300 transplants using a supply of merely 60,000 units.

cord blood

Major medical trails have done till now with the Umbilical Cord Blood-derived cell products as registered on the website 


 Cell origin
Alzheimer disease Allogeneic
Autism Allogeneic
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia Allogeneic
Cerebral palsy  Autologous
    Autologous 1 Allogeneic
    Autologous 2 Allogeneic
Critical limb ischemia Allogeneic
Diabetes mellitus type 1  Autologous
Diabetes mellitus type 2  Autologous
Global development delay Allogeneic
Hematological Malignancies Allogeneic
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome  Autologous
Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy Allogeneic
Inborn metabolic disorders  Allogeneic
Liver failure caused by the hepatitis B virus Allogeneic
Malignant solid tumors  Allogeneic
Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy Autologous
Orthopedic cartilage repair Allogeneic
Osteoporosis Allogeneic
Skin diseases Allogeneic
Spinal cord injury Allogeneic
Stroke 1 Allogeneic
Stroke 2  Autologous
Traumatic brain injury 1 Autologous
Traumatic brain injury 2 Allogeneic


Few Facts about Cord Blood which needs to be known:

  • The blood from the newborn baby’s umbilical cord is loaded with blood-producing stem cells which may be useful in treating specific ailments like cancer that a child may develop
  • Private cord blood banks store the drops of blood without any charge or commission; they pitch their service to parents as an insurance plan for their Childs wellness.
  • Parents pay roughly around $1,500 to store the blood at any of at least 30 private cord blood banks in the United States. Then they cover up as much as $175 annually up to 20 years to store the blood to the off chance that their kid will require it someday.
  • While preserved cord blood might be used as a medical treatment, the opportunity that one unit is going to be used stands less than half of 1 percent. Even though the two largest banks, both via Cord and Cord Blood Registry (CBR), together state that they have nearly a million units of cord preserved in their freezers.
  • The blood is made available to patients anonymously who want it and also are of biological “match,” that means their bodies will respond to the donation. Units which do not have abundant cells often got to medical or scientific research.
  • Most of the parents during their Childs birth don’t even know that they can donate their infants’ cord blood. However, many parents are approached or handed a pamphlet by their own doctors, describing the cord blood and about the need to donate it.
cord blood

So what do we conclude?

What decisions might be drawn now about the actual and potential usage of Umbilical Cord Blood? Even the cord blood transplantation from relevant donors with a potential fit has been found in children and represents in the therapy of preferable choice in many hereditary ailments, blood malignancies and immune deficiencies, such as leukemia.

In adults, the issue of the limited number of stem cells isn’t yet resolved and can be interpreted to some 10-15% possibility of cellular transplant failure or significant delay in hematopoietic reconstitution. This means the longer duration of follow up maintenance together with economic and clinical consequences. But if a decent dose of stem cells in an individual cord blood unit can be found, Umbilical Cord Blood signifies a workable choice.

Preliminary statistics demonstrate that the security of dual umbilical cord blood transplantation; yet the continuing medical trials and also prolonged follow-ups of the patients may describe precisely the immunology and figure out the effectiveness of this procedure.

The need of using Umbilical Blood is better illustrated from the situation in which HLA variances exist amongst donor and acceptor, in which instance umbilical cord blood transplant gives superior results than any other sort of different transplant.

Acceptance of donors using HLA mismatches escalates the sophistication and toxicity of the transplantation, which translates into enhanced morbidity and mortality connected with the transplantation. Hence, using these new methods of treatment continues to be restricted by clinical studies.

So whether you feel it or not I would highly recommend mothers to save the cord blood as it costs nothing much in front of a lifetime usage, we hardly spend much on medical things as required, we bring out whatever is needed at the time of emergency, so why wait for crisis if we have an available solution for it.

We spend so much on other luxuries, so there is no waste in paying a little amount for a future benefit. As at your child’s birth you are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to harvest this blood, it’s a painless process which hardly takes a moment to accomplish.



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