Cord blood banking allows parents to make the choice to have their child’s umbilical cord blood frozen and stored in case they need to treat any future diseases. But it’s not just for the child’s use; if parents have multiple children, then they may be able to benefit from the umbilical cord blood as well as immediate family members. Even though your family could greatly benefit from using the child’s cord blood, what are the chances of needing it in the future?
Will My Child Need Cord Blood?
Cord blood is made up of stem cells with plenty of platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. Also found in bone marrow and small amounts in blood, stem cells from cord blood have been able to treat more than 70 different disorders. If your family has a history of genetic disorders, then you might want to consider having the cord blood sent to a private or public blood cord bank for future use.
Each situation will be different, but the odds are quite slim for the need of cord blood and stem cells later on in life for both the child and their immediate family members. By the age of ten, there is a 0.01% chance that a child will need their own cells and a 0.02% chance from another donor.
Even if both parents carry good genes and their child is healthy and free of cancer or other illness, it is difficult to predict what could happen in the future. Frozen cord blood and stem cells have been used to treat people who have suffered cerebral palsy by being born premature as well as other brain injuries because of accidents. Because the future is so unpredictable, cryobanks like Familycord offers different services.
The Risk of Premature Birth
If a mother is at risk of giving birth to a premature baby, then she might want to consider keeping the baby’s cord blood for the future. In cases such as cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, stem cells are being used for treatment by inserting the blood intravenously. For one patient simply known as L.B., doctors were able to treat his cerebral palsy with his frozen umbilical cord blood. With continuous treatment and assistance, he was able to do basic motor, cognitive, and social skills.
No Perfect Match Necessary
Though a perfect match for using umbilical cord blood and marrow is ideal, studies show that blood transplants do not necessarily need to exactly matchup. If a patient cannot find a perfect match, they may still be able to find a donor that has a better blood match for stem cells.
It is difficult to know for sure if your child will need their umbilical cord blood in the future; especially if they are born healthy with no predictions of future disease or cancer, but it might be a good decision just in case. You never know if an immediate family member may benefit from it as well.
This is a guest post.
Author: Julia Nichols is a freelance writer and health blogger for genetic diseases and healthcare systems.