Cord Blood Processing in Modern Medicine
By Michael Rad
A significant step that takes place before the actual freezing is testing the blood in order to avoid preserving blood infested with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis,
infant leukemia or other blood disorders and genetic conditions. Another safety measure is to collect the cord blood right after the birth, meaning in maximum 15 minutes. Before storing it, the blood is centrifugally divided into its components through a specialized apparatus. If this procedure is not applied, then a sediment is injected in the cord blood, in order to separate it in its elements.
The basic elements of the cord blood are RBC cells, also called red cells, white blood cells WBC and plasmatic cells. Actually, the valuable stem cells are included in the white blood cells, so the red ones and the plasma are less important. The white blood cells produce protective antibodies that are immune to various kinds of germs and their utility in medicine is very complex. Stem cells are actually those cells which have the ability to differentiate and divide in other cells and due to this property, they have the ability to repair various systems of the body.
After separating the cells, the RBC cells are removed from the cord blood, as in this way, the chances of the stems to be compatible with many people increase considerably. This is due to the fact that patients have different blood types, even if they have the same blood required for the stems transplant. Besides these, the red blood cells of the cord blood can affect different organs of the patient, while the transplant proceeds. After the removal of the RBC cells, the remaining cord blood is deposited for freezing for unlimited periods of time. All these steps must be done quickly, as it is safest to freeze the cord blood after 24 to 36 hours since the actual birth. If the cord blood is processed and kept correctly, its benefits for future patients are unlimited, as it bases efficient treatments and medical operations in diseases like leukemia, various types of cancer, anemia, immune system disorders and rare genetic diseases.
Cord blood family services take into account the age and the health history of the families who want to donate or to bank their baby's cord blood. There are questionnaires for helping clarifying the family health history and the likeliness of using the umbilical cord blood. Besides, cord blood family services offer information about cord blood in general, about the successfully cord blood stem cells transplantations and about the process of collection, testing and storing cord blood samples. Respectable cord blood family services ensure the shipping and handling process, taking care of all the details for the safe transportation of the umbilical cord blood. Most of them contract reliable medical courier services and in most cases the clients are informed about the successful delivery.
Some of the existent cord blood family services have proposals for those families who would like to interrupt their baby's cord blood after ten or more years of storage. Those families may donate it for public usage. In this sense, after the donation of the umbilical cord blood, those families may be refunded with some or even all invested money.
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