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  Cord Blood Banking
  About Cord Blood
  Cord Blood Stem Cells
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  Why Cord Blood Banking
  Types of Cord Blood Banks
  Public Cord Blood Bank
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  Cord Blood FAQs

Cord Blood Registry - FAQ'S

Private cord blood banking is something of a controversial topic for todayís parents. Although your babyís cord blood may have potential future applications if your child becomes sick, it isnít quite that simple. Read on for more information on the cord blood banking process.

Q: What is cord blood?

A: Cord blood is blood taken from the umbilical cord after delivery of a newborn baby. There is no pain to either the mother or baby when this blood is collected. After the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, a syringe is used to draw blood from the umbilical cord. If the umbilical cord blood isnít collected, itís usually disposed of with the placenta.

Q: Why is cord blood important?

A: Umbilical cord blood is important because it contains stem cells. Stem cells are special cells that are capable of developing into any kind of cell thatís needed. As we grow, our cells become very specialized and are capable only of producing more cells like themselves. The exceptions in adults are the cells in our bone marrow, which are capable of producing blood cells or more cells that can, in turn, produce blood cells. If a disease is caused by faulty genetic instructions in a cell, then providing a person with new cells with correct instructions can relieve that disease.

Q: Who or what is the Cord Blood Registry?

A: Cord Blood Registry is the name of a private cord blood banking company. Cord blood banking companies may be private or public. Public cord blood banks may store blood for future transplants or may use the blood in stem cell research. Private companies store the blood exclusively for your future use.

Q: Is it true that stem cells can cure diabetes?

A: No, not at this point. However, research is being conducted to see if diabetes can be helped or cured through the use of stem cells. Other diseases which may be treated in the future include Parkinson's disease, heart disease and Alzheimer's. In addition, there are a number of disease for which stem cells can presently be used.

Q: If I have more than one child, should I store cord blood for each of them?

A: If at all possible, yes. Even among siblings, there can be differences in blood types, so the more related samples are available, the greater likelihood youíll find a match among those donors.

Q: But there's so little umbilical cord blood. Can it really help a grown up?

A: Yes. While itís true that the amount of stem cells in a single unit of cord blood is only enough for a large child or small adult, researchers are working on ways to increase the number of cells before the transplant is made. An adult can also receive more than one unit of cord blood, depending on how many matching samples are available.

Q: I am a pregnant woman with a tattoo. I was told I couldn't bank my baby's cord blood. Is that true?

A: It depends. As of now, there are no restrictions on banking your baby's cord blood in a private bank such as the Cord Blood Registry. To make a public donation, however, at least 12 months will need to have elapsed since you got your tattoo.

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