July is recognized as National Cord Blood Awareness Month. Many readers are probably wondering what is cord blood and what are its medical implications?
The umbilical cord provides life-sustaining nutrients from the mother to her baby. Upon delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and detached. Within the umbilical cord is cord blood. Cord blood contains stem cells. Stem cells are cells that have the capacity to change into specialized cells that can heal injured tissues or cure diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma.
For many patients diagnosed with a "disease of the blood", their only chance for survival is often a stem cell transfusion/transplant. The infused stem cells can replace the diseased blood cells with new healthy cells. According to NIH, "Umbilical cord blood donation poses little risk to donors, and the life-saving blood can be stored frozen for years."
For more information on the value and medical application of umbilical cord blood, please consult your OBGYN, fertility doctor, or healthcare provider. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Cord Blood Registry Ob.Gyn. News Obstetrics & Gynecology - OBGYN Ingenes: Instituto de Fertilidad y Genética Umbilical cord #nationalcordbloodawareness