3/29/11

Saving Cord Blood- Something Important to Think About When You Deliver

On your driver's license application, did you check the box that indicates you are willing to be a donor if you were to die? I did. I mean, why not, I'll be dead, right? Might as well help someone else as I exit, and all. No effort required on my part.

So why don't more people also save cord blood when they have a baby? I think it must be because most people do not even know about this option.

Have you heard about saving cord blood? Its so easy, all you do is keep the blood that is in the umbilical cord and store it instead of tossing it in the trash. There is no risk or effort involved and it can potentially save your baby a lot of grief if they ever develop diseases like severe immunodeficiency, sickle cell anemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, or many others. Check out this little girl who had to use it: Fox news/cord-blood-cures-babys-grapefruit-sized-tumor

Cord blood contains stem cells, the same cells which are in your bone marrow. They can turn into any one of the different types of blood cells. The benefits of using cord blood stem cells instead of those from a bone marrow transplant are many. They include:

  1. It doesn't hurt. Bone marrow transplants are notoriously painful and since it is an invasive surgery, carries a risk of infection and the risks associated with general anesthesia.
  2. It won't be rejected. Taking bone marrow from one person and putting it into another has a risk of rejection even when borrowing from a close family member. Strong anti rejection medications are necessary. They are not necessary with cord blood stem cells.
  3. The stem cells are healthier. They are accepted easier. Cord blood stem cells won't be carrying anything versus a person donating bone marrow who's marrow had been around and picked up latent viruses and radiation from the sun and what not.

These are just a few quick reasons. There are two main options for saving cord blood. You can save it for your child or you can donate it.

Saving it and banking it for your child costs money. It costs around $2,000 initially, and then $125 a year for storage after that. You can check it out here.

Donating it COSTS NOTHING. You have to DO NOTHING. Of course, then it is not available for your child only, but it may save another child's life. Why not? I cannot find a single solitary reason why anyone would not say to their OB “Hey I would like to donate the umbilical cord instead of toss it in the trash, please.”

What do you think you will do?

1 comment:

Baby Name Site said...

I did NOT do this for my first, but I am going to talk about it with my doctor this time around. I think some people automatically think it is an awkward subject, like using fetal stem cells from abortions or something. Its not at all! Its just something really valuable and useful and completely guilt-free that gets tossed in the trash unless you SPEAK UP.