Stem cell storage - your baby's ultimate health insurance?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy & Labor' started by cheer, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. sanravi_1970

    sanravi_1970 Gold IL'ite

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    Re: how many of us have saved the umbilical cord of our children??

    Hi

    Even i had so many questions although there are lots of places in US to store Cord but still i had many doubts like u have asked. So i didnt do for my son.
     
  2. Nandshyam

    Nandshyam IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: how many of us have saved the umbilical cord of our children??

    Ok people.. I have no clue about this

    Why not someone explain in layman terms why we need to do it, what are the pros and cons of it ........... please ;-)
     
  3. Aadhusmom

    Aadhusmom Gold IL'ite

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    Re: how many of us have saved the umbilical cord of our children??

    Nandhu,
    Very brief explanation - the umblical cord of the baby is normally cut and a small stump is left on the baby at birth. The rest of the cord is usually discarded. Now it has been found that the part which is discarded contains blood which is rich in stem cells. These are cells found in the developing fetus in large quantities. They are also found in some adult tissues but not in very great numbers. The "uniqueness" of stem cells is that they can grow into different kinds of tissues/organs ie. unlike adult/mature cells which have already specialized into one specific type eg. liver. brain etc. these stem cells have the potential to be anything. So naturally they are found in maximum numbers during fetal development when the various organs are being formed. They are also abundant in umblical cord blood so by collecting the blood from the part of the cord which gets thrown away we can harvest these cells and store them for future use.
    The uses of stem cells are plenty BUT most of these are still potential uses ie. they havent been used to cure all that many diseases yet. They have been used successfully to treat several genetic diseases, enzyme deficiencies etc. and in some forms of cancer but everything else is still in the trial stage.
    So this is where cord blood banking comes in - you store the cord blood on the chance that if you ever need your stem cells they will be available to you. There are private (you pay for storage and can access your own cells) or public (no payment and you will most likely not get your own cells should you need them - its almost like blood doantion) banks.
    Pros - you have the cells should your baby ever need them (private) and its a wonderful way to help other people who may need your baby's cells (public)
    Cons - no cons for public banking except that you wont get your own cells back. For private - first of all its a question of money (not cheap), then whether these banks will be around decades later and whether they will store these cells properly. How viable will the cells be after 20+ years (nobody knows)? And the chances of your child actually needing them are pretty remote, unless you have a family history of certain genetic diseases. Many diseases are actually treated better with other people's stem cells! As of now most of the common diseases are a long way away from being cured by stem cell therapy.And finally we cant predict how science will develop - already there are ways of converting ordinary cells into stem cells - this will cancel the need for cord stem cells if it is workable.
    This is my understanding of the issue. Hope it helps.

    Vanathi.
     
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  4. radhee

    radhee Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: how many of us have saved the umbilical cord of our children??

    That was a beautiful explanation Vanathi! Bow
     
  5. arthidiva

    arthidiva Silver IL'ite

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    LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    Hi Ladies,

    I saw a programme in a news channel last night and though I should share with you.. It was about Stem Cells from Cord Blood.

    Are you guys aware of this? Have you already opted for it?

    I opted for this and got my LO's stem cells (collected from our cord blood) processed and stored with LIFECELL. I will come back with more details when I have some time later today.

    But at this point, this info may look like greek and latin for some of you who havent heard of this.. just wanted to alert you that there is such an option and if you like it after analysing, it will be life saving option for you and your kids.
     
  6. hydgrr

    hydgrr Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    Dont we have to pay money monthly or so to save the cord blood??
    Is it really worth all the money??
    -priya
     
  7. shwethag

    shwethag Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    I think in US there in a one time payment plan also for $1800.
    I was also wondering what to do it is a big amount and would save only if it is helpful.

    Anybody else planning on saving the cord?
     
  8. lk59

    lk59 New IL'ite

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    Re: LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    If you want to store your child's cord blood in a private place, then you have to pay money annually. There are public banks, which will use cord blood for research or other people.

    Current research says that for a child to be able to use it's own cord blood is a small percentage and the same goes for a sibling. The number of people in the minority group (Asian-Indians-Africans) who donate cord blood is lower and the need is higher.

    If you don't plan to store it in private banks, please do give a thought for donating it, as it may be useful for someone, rather than let it go waste.

    LK
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  9. rpm2

    rpm2 Senior IL'ite

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    Re: LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    I agree with LK59.

    We did a lot of research on cord blood banking and money was not an issue. We stay in the US and the pediatricians we spoke to all agreed that the unless there is a history of genetic disease in the family, storing cord blood might not really be worth it.

    The amount of cord blood collected from a new born is very little and it does not help an adult (as of today). Also, if the person gets blood cancer or other types of cancers which require a marrow transplant, then the doctors prefer to use a fresh cord blood or marrow (they dont like to use the stored cord blood since they believe that the disease is already present in the cord blood).

    We donated both our childrens cord blood. The blood collected from my daugher was very little and they could not use it but it was successful for my son. Hopefully some needy South-Asian will be benefited from it.
     
  10. lk59

    lk59 New IL'ite

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    Re: LIFECELL - Cord Blood/ Stem Cells

    That's wonderful rpm2, I wanted to donate the first time and the quantity was a little less so they could not use it. Hoping that this time they will be able to get enough to be able to use it.

    LK
     

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