Category Archives: Cord Blood Q&A

Cord Blood Q&A

Delayed Cord Blood Clamping: Is it beneficial?

It’s confirmed that the umbilical cord of a newborn is filled with stem cells that cures malignant diseases such as cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury. cerebral palsy, type-1 diabetes and hearing loss. The question that left to the mind of various medical experts is: When is the right time to clamp the cord?

Paul Sanberg, MD is the director of University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair and this is what he wrote in his research.

“Several clinical studies have shown that delaying clamping the umbilical cord not only allows more blood to be transferred but helps prevent anemia as well. Cord blood also contains many valuable stem cells, making this transfer of stem cells a process that might be considered ‘the original stem cell transplant’.”

Dr. Dong-Hyuk Park, co-author of Sanders, pointed out the significant relationship between the time of cord clamping and the transfer of stem cells. Park stated the blood cells are starting to form as early as the mother is declared two-week-pregnant.

“Several randomized, controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have compared the effects of late versus early cord clamping. In pre-term infants, delaying clamping the cord for at least 30 seconds reduced incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage, late on-set sepsis, anemia, and decreased the need for blood transfusions.”

As one of the researchers of the study lead by Sanders, Stephen Klasko, MD said.“There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection. The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.”

Klasko is an obstetrician, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of USF College of Medicine.

Conclusions were made by these researchers and they all agreed the clamping procedure should be delayed to benefit the newborn’s health needs and there will be no visible problem once the cord is stored.

Source: Science Daily

Cord Blood Stem Cell vs Embryonic Stem Cell

Cord Blood Awareness Month is celebrated every July. Every couple out there, newlyweds or not, should have the right to be properly informed either to stored their newborn’s umbilical cord or donate it in public cord banks. However, the biggest problem until now is – this simple process of collecting stem cells embraces various misconceptions and controversies. Some people who are not well-informed about this procedure think it is unethical and some mistakenly associate it with embryonic stem cell.

The cord blood stem cells are entirely different from embryonic stem cells. In cord blood, you only use the stem cell found in baby’s umbilical cord. When a baby is delivered, the doctor removes his umbilical cord and placenta. Instead of throwing it away, the blood (which contains stem cells) inside the cord and placenta is squeeze out using a syringe and store in a fridge. Collecting cord blood is a safe procedure and it will not hurt the mother or the baby. In fact, this procedure is performed because scientists confirmed the younger the cells, the bigger the possibilities of curing fatal diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, Parkinson’s, spinal injury, etc.

While in embryonic stem cell, its collection process is complicated. It’s considered unethical because it requires you to kill a life. The nucleus of the embryo cell is removed, transferred to a human egg and results to cloned embryo. The cloned human embryo is developed and destroyed just to harvest the stem cells.

Stem cells can either be found in cord blood or embryonic but when these cells are harvested, it plays similar roles – that is – to cure diseases which many think are irreversible. Embryonic stem cell might be as effective as cord blood cell; It just attempts to give a right solution but its unethical procedures is unacceptable to humanity. It’s unnecessary to destroy a human life just to save another life, right?

Does A Cord Blood Donation Effect Pregnancy?

Cord blood which was once routinely discarded as medical waste, is now recognized for its life-saving capabilities, ideal for blood transplants because it is rich in self-repairing stem cells. Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, which according to the National Institutes of Health are medically important because they can self-replicate and take on the properties of specialized cells within the human body.

There has been of date no medical evidence or research indicating that a cord blood donation effects pregnancy. In fact there is an Illinois law designed to encourage umbilical cord blood donation. Because stem cells can become various cells, doctors are using them to treat more than 40 types of cancers and diseases that destroy human cells.

The ideal time for women who wish to donate the cord blood is before their 35th week of pregnancy. The cord blood is collected only after the baby has been born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. The cord blood collection is both painless and safe for the pregnant mother as well as for the baby. The Average collection time varies from 3-7 minutes. But unfortunately, due to historically lower volumes collected from multiple births, many facilities to not collect cord blood from twins.

Collecting cord blood poses no health risk to the mother or infant donor. The cord blood is collected after delivery, which would normally be discarded. The cord blood is stored only with the mother’s signed consent. If the mother or the baby experiences any complications during delivery, the doctor will not collect the cord blood.

Trained staff drains the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta. The methods vary somewhat at different hospitals. The blood is usually collected using a needle to draw the blood into a bag.

Donating cord blood is medically safe and doesn’t affect pregnancy. Donating poses no health risks to the pregnant mother or the baby.