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Cord blood banking can help your children stay healthy

Based on nearly two decades of clinical medicine, there’s no denying the incredible value of cord blood stem cells in treating nearly 80 life threatening diseases of the blood. In the past decade alone, the percentage of all transplant procedures done using cord blood has risen from 1 percent to 22 percent in adults and up to 50 percent in children. The number of treatments cord blood has been used for has risen from one in 1988 to nearly 80 in 2010. And now, researchers are actively exploring new uses, including the potential treatment of autoimmune, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Clinical trials being conducted today are testing the utility of cord blood infusions to treat important diseases of childhood including Cerebral Palsy, Type 1 Diabetes and Autism.

Children from healthy families are diagnosed with diseases every day. That’s why, for many parents, the decision to bank cord blood provides assurance that they are planning a healthy future for their family. While there is 100 percent chance a child’s Cord Blood is a match for him/her, the possibilities of matching a sibling or other family members can be much higher than the possibility of finding an equally well matched unit from other sources. Studies have shown that using a sibling’s cord blood increases the chance of treatment success by 2 fold (63% versus 29%) when a related Cord Blood unit is used to treat multiple diseases.

There are several options to consider when shopping for a family cord blood bank. Parents can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with all the information. As you’re doing your research, try to keep it simple by using this rule of thumb: Transplant success rates are an excellent way to determine the quality of a cord blood bank.

If you are shopping for the value of the cord blood unit if you should ever need it, then choose the cord blood bank with the most experience and with the highest published survival rates.

Be sure to allow enough time when selecting the cord blood bank that’s right for your family. Cord blood banks will typically need a couple of weeks to send your cord blood collection kit to your home so you have it in time for your trip to the hospital.

Photo Credits: Happy Baby by Flickr: Jeremy SALMON

Morey KrausChief Science Officer

Morey Kraus is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Diagnostics division of PerkinElmer, Inc. Prior to assuming this role Kraus was the founder and Chief Technology Officer of the ViaCord business unit. ViaCord is a private cord blood banking ser...

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