Reasons For Donating Umbilical Cord Blood

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					Title:
Reasons For Donating Umbilical Cord Blood

Word Count:
535

Summary:
Cord blood banking generated debates about the implications of donating
against private storage of umbilical blood. Umbilical cord blood, a
"miracle" in medical and scientific research, is found to contain stem
cells which are highly valuable in treating blood-related diseases. Its
"primitiveness" can regenerate whole immune systems necessary for curing
chronic diseases like leukemia, anemia, and immune system disorders.
Despite its many uses, there are limited donations made...


Keywords:
umbilical cord blood, cord blood banking


Article Body:
Cord blood banking generated debates about the implications of donating
against private storage of umbilical blood. Umbilical cord blood, a
"miracle" in medical and scientific research, is found to contain stem
cells which are highly valuable in treating blood-related diseases. Its
"primitiveness" can regenerate whole immune systems necessary for curing
chronic diseases like leukemia, anemia, and immune system disorders.
Despite its many uses, there are limited donations made in public banks
because of several reasons. Lack of equipment, incompetent information
dissemination, and financial problems are common reasons. But other than
these, the desire of parents to save their children's blood for familial
use is a stronger reason. Most families are opting to keep stem cells as
"medical insurance" in case one of them gets sick with a blood disease.
If you are thinking about your options, recent studies prove that public
storage is more beneficial to the donating family and others.

First, there is little chance that immediate members of the donating
family can use the donated stem cells. Umbilical cord blood from the sick
child himself is unsuitable for his use. The genetic materials that made
the disease possible is also encoded in the blood cells. The parents also
contain strains of these genetic materials which make them unsuitable
candidates for the blood's use. Besides, stem cells harvested from
umbilical blood are usually not enough to cure adults or persons weighing
over a hundred pounds.

Second, if you do need umbilical blood, chances are higher that your
match is in public stores rather than private storage. National Marrow
Donor Program's Dennis Confer affirms that an exact match between a
donor's umbilical blood and his sibling is pegged at only 25%, while
exact matches from public stores is at 75%. He claims that the latter is
higher if internationally-based cord blood banking systems are included.

Third, doctors often prefer umbilical blood procured through public
banking systems. Unlike private storage, public banks have regulated and
rigorous standards for umbilical cord blood preservation. They have
standards on amount, sanitation, and trained, qualified staff. Private
storage are just ordinary businesses - they aim for profit. They may
limit the amount of harvested samples to make room for more, or hire less
than qualified staff to lower manpower costs. By keeping umbilical blood
in private stores, its quality is highly at risk.

Fourth, donating umbilical blood in public banks does not limit your
access to it unless it was used. Public and government-regulated cord
blood banking institutions give priority to donors if they need their
donated blood. Also, there are very slim chances that your donated
umbilical blood is used. Lawrence Petz from StemCyte - a top
public/private umbilical blood bank - estimates that only 5% of banked
donations are used.

Lastly, donating umbilical cord blood is more economical because it's
free. Private banks charge as much as $2,000 for collection and
registration, and another $100 yearly for storage. That's a lot of money
for something you might not even use. But by donating umbilical blood to
cord blood banking institutions, you are giving a chance at life to other
people without expense on your part. You never know but the life your
donated umbilical blood saves might be the your savior in the unforeseen
future.

				
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