Pros and Cons of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Pros of Cord Blood Banking

It is much easier to collect cord blood than bone marrow, and not near as risky.

You only have one chance to save your baby’s cord blood.

It’s simple and painless for you and your baby.

30%-70% of people who need bone marrow transplants cannot find a donor. African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and people of mixed ethnicity have the most problems finding matches.

Cord blood stem cell research could possibly aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Heart Attack, Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Cord injuries in the future.

Currently, cord blood is being used to treat malignant diseases such as Leukemia, Lymphoma, Neuroblastoma and numerous other types of cancer. It is also being used to treat non-malignant diseases such as Aplastic Anemia Thalassemia, Congenital Cytopenia, Hunter Syndrome, Osteopetrosis, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Sickle Cell Anemia, and many others.

If you have a family history of a certain disease, then cord blood banking can give you a piece of mind. That’s the primary reason that parents choose to bank their child’s cord blood…because of a family history of disease that can be treated with a bone marrow transplant.

Cord blood is less likely to contain certain infectious agents, like viruses, that can pose a risk to bone marrow transplant recipients.

Cord blood cured patients appear to suffer less from acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) than patients who receive bone marrow transplants. GHVD is where the patient’s new immune system starts attacking the patient’s own body. It’s a very serious condition that can be fatal.

Some studies suggest that cord blood may have a greater ability to make new blood cells than bone marrow.

Cons of Cord Blood Banking

There’s not a lot of arguments against cord blood banking.

It’s expensive!

If the cord is clamped too soon after birth, the baby could be deprived of a placental blood transfusion. This causes lower blood volume and an increased risk of anemia later.

The odds that a baby will ever need his or her cord blood is low.

Some experts are concerned that a child who receives his own cord blood, would be prone to the same disease again, seeing as how there’s little experience with this. Most of the bone marrow transplants that use stem cells have been performed on relatives of the child.

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