A family’s decision to bank their baby’s umbilical cord blood is a personal decision made for reasons known only to that particular family. The reasons could vary from a personal experience with genetic diseases, a cautious approach to familial health, or a genuine desire to help others.
But each family is different, and bases decisions on common knowledge as well as personal experiences. Here are some of the most common reasons that families consider banking their own baby’s cord blood.
1. Breakthroughs In Cord Blood Stem Cell Therapy
Cord blood stem cells have been used in numerous clinical trials to test whether the sample can be a viable source of therapy for a number of diseases or disorders. Cord blood stem cells are currently viable for use in up to 75 life threatening diseases.
One of the most common uses is in cases involving various types of leukaemia, along with potential for heart disease, cerebral palsy, Type 1 Diabetes, spinal cord injury, and dozens of others. As more trials are conducted, doctors could find many other uses for cord blood stem cells in years to come.
2. Safety And Security
If you bank your baby’s cord blood, you have immediate access to a source of therapy if your child requires a stem cell transplant. Medical experts advise expecting parents that in the event a stem cell transplant is required, using the baby’s own cord blood is one of the safest and most secure options available.
In addition to being a viable source of therapy for the baby, banked umbilical cord blood can also be used for other members of the family. In certain cases when genetic family members require stem cell transplants, a relative’s banked cord blood can often be used as the source of therapy for the transplant.
3. Ongoing Clinical Trials
Many medical experts conduct ongoing research and clinical trials to develop a greater understanding of how to best utilize cord blood stem cells. Researchers like Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University, an expert in pediatric blood and marrow transplants, are being funded millions of dollars to continue researching unknown benefits of umbilical cord blood.
With time, patience, and successful trials researchers could uncover new and innovative ways to best utilize cord blood stem cells. These potential new discoveries could encourage more families to bank their own baby’s cord blood, and reap the benefits of that decision.