Cord+Blood+Banking - On the day you deliver your baby,...

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On the day you deliver your baby, you'll probably be overcome with visions of your future with your child - first smiles and steps, birthday parties and sports events, and holidays and life milestones. Your little one ever becoming seriously ill will probably be the last thing on your mind. But some parents do consider the possibility that a serious illness might someday affect their child - and they make a choice on the day their baby is born that might impact the future health of that child or even their other children. They're deciding to bank their newborn's cord blood. So, what is cord-blood banking, and is it right for you? Cord-Blood Banking After a baby is delivered, the mother's body releases the placenta, the temporary organ that transferred oxygen and nutrients to the baby while in the mother's uterus . Until recently, in most cases the umbilical cord and placenta were discarded after birth without a second thought. But during the 1970s, researchers discovered that umbilical cord blood could supply the same kinds of blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells as a bone marrow donor. And so, umbilical cord blood began to be collected and stored. What are blood-forming stem cells? These are primitive (early) cells found primarily in the bone marrow that are capable of developing into the three types of mature blood cells present in our blood - red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Cord-blood stem cells may also have the potential to give rise to other cell types in the body. Some serious illnesses (such as certain childhood cancers , blood diseases, and immune system disorders) require radiation and chemotherapy treatments to kill diseased cells in the body. Unfortunately, these treatments also kill many "good" cells along with the bad, including healthy stem cells that live in the bone marrow.
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Depending on the type of disease and treatment needed, some children need a bone marrow transplant (from a donor whose marrow cells closely match their own). Blood- forming stem cells from the donor are transplanted into the child who is ill, and those cells go on to manufacture new, healthy blood cells and enhance the child's blood- producing and immune system capability. Collection of the cord blood takes place shortly after birth in both vaginal and cesarean (c-section) deliveries. It's done using a specific kit that parents must order ahead of time from their chosen cord-blood bank. After a vaginal delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped on both sides and cut. In most cases, an experienced obstetrician or nurse collects the cord blood before the placenta is delivered. One side of the umbilical cord is unclamped, and a small tube is passed into the umbilical vein to collect the blood. After blood has been collected from the cord,
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2011 for the course FAMR 230 taught by Professor Brown,l during the Spring '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Cord+Blood+Banking - On the day you deliver your baby,...

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