Some traditional practices are to be ignored and some take us by surprise when we later find the scientific reason behind them. One such popular practice in many parts of the world is to keep the umbilical cord stump as a good luck charm. Some store it in small boxes, others put it around the neck inside sacred talismans, and in some places, the cord is often buried with a sapling and the health of the tree is believed to depend on the state of the baby’s health as he/she grows.
Though all these practices were a part of religion or custom, we must admit that our grandparents were wise enough to know that the umbilical cord did have some magic power. What they lacked was the knowledge and technology to make use of it. Lucky us, now we know the real magic an umbilical cord poses. Today we know that the cells in the umbilical cord blood can treat and even cure some serious diseases proving that the umbilical cord is indeed a lucky charm!!
So let us see how to preserve these special cells in the umbilical cord, what actually cord blood banking is, and how umbilical cord blood stem cells can come to rescue as a potential treatment plan for many common new-age diseases.
What are Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells?
As you know, the umbilical cord is a narrow tube-like structure that connects the developing fetus to the placenta. It serves as a pathway that carries nutrients and oxygen from the placenta to the baby and also helps to eliminate carbon dioxide rich nutrient-deficient blood from the growing fetus.
Once the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut to separate the baby from the mother. The blood present inside the umbilical cord soon after a baby is born is rich in stem and progenitor cells, mostly hematopoietic stem cells. These cells present in umbilical cord blood have the potential and ability to develop into many different cell types which are life-saving. These cells have the ability to transform into muscle cells, brain cells, etc. This ability of cord blood stem cells is what makes it special and worth preserving. These stem cells can be lifesaving as they can be used for treatment or as a potential cure for many diseases that the baby may have in the future.
How to preserve these life-saving cord stem cells?
To preserve and use the umbilical cord blood cells in the future there is a process now available called umbilical cord blood banking/cord stem cell banking or stem cell preservation. This process collects the cord blood, extracts and cryogenically freezes umbilical cord stem cells, and stores them to be used as a part of a treatment plan or potential cure for many diseases in the future.
The whole process of umbilical blood collection and extraction is risk-free and does not interfere with the labor, delivery, or health of the mom or child.
What diseases can be treated with stem cells from the umbilical cord?
More than 80+ diseases, including Leukaemia, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Bone marrow cancer, Thalassemia, Hodgkin Disease, Tissue injury, etc can be treated with umbilical cord blood stem cells. Click here for a list of other diseases treatable using cord blood stem cells.
What are the benefits of cord blood banking?
Apart from being a cure for rare and common new-age diseases, there are multiple benefits of cord blood stem cells that can help in a medical emergency.
The most important plus point is that stem cells can prove life-saving to not only the baby but also the entire family. The chances of a cord stem cell matching to family members is higher than cells obtained from other sources.
Is umbilical cord stem banking available in India?
As people have become more and more aware of freezing cord stem cells, the facility is now available in India too. In India, stem cell banking services are provided by Government-owned (public) banks, Community stem cell banks, and Privately-held banks.
One such organization is Biocell. Biocell uses “Double Sedimentation Spin Technology” for cord blood stem cells. Biocell is considered one of the best stem cell banks in India because of various reasons, such as:
- India’s only Family Bank.
- Only Umbilical Cord Blood Bank in India with an In-house R&D Unit.
- Only Stem Cell Bank in India to offer Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for all family members.
- They have 90% of clients who believe in their sales team knowledge about the service
- Biocell monitors the temperature of samples every 60 seconds.
Also at Biocell, they don’t just store and process the cord blood for you. They provide better health for you and your baby with our below value-added services:
- CFU (Colon Forming Unit) Test
- Critical Congenital Heart Disease
- Biocord super power
- HLA testing
- Haemoglobinopathy test
- Data logger facility
How to register with Biocell?
Biocell registration is a simple process wherein you would be required to fill in personal details in a registration form and a client agreement form. It is recommended to register 2-3 months prior to the due date as some medical checkups may take time.
Once you are enrolled and have signed the client agreement form, you shall receive the collection kit box within 10-25 days of receipt of your agreement form.
To know more, please connect with the Biocell medical officer on 1800-209-0309 or click on this link.
Preserving the cord blood cells is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If we take the correct decision now, it can be a lifesaver tomorrow.