Exploring the Facts About Cord Blood

Cord blood is an increasingly promising resource in the healthcare industry. However, in the hectic environment of the delivery room, your physician may overlook discussing the option of saving your cord blood with you. As you would educate yourself about procedures you are undergoing, take time to learn the facts about cord blood before your child is delivered so you don’t miss an opportunity to preserve this potentially life-saving resource. July is Cord Blood Awareness month, making it the perfect chance to increase awareness about the issue.

What Is Cord Blood?

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Cord blood is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It is rich in stem cells in their earliest possible form, which means they are more easily adaptable than other stem cell sources. Unlike embryonic stem cells, there is no controversy surrounding the use of stem cells from cord blood. The blood is retrieved after delivery, so there is no risk to either mom or baby in the process.

How Can Cord Blood Be Used?

Doctors are using stem cells from cord blood to treat more than 80 different serious illnesses, including cancers, genetic disorders, and immune system deficiencies. Cord blood is used as part of transplant medicine as it helps to regenerate the immune system. Because of the young stage at which cord blood is removed, the stem cells do not have to be an exact match to the recipient.

What Are the Challenges in Using Cord Blood?

Storage is one obstacle in using cord blood. The blood must be banked in either a public or private cord blood facility. Lack of awareness is perhaps the biggest challenge. According to the Save the Cord Foundation, cord blood from 97 percent of the 4 million births in the U.S. each year is thrown away as medical waste.

If you have a concern about medicalcare you or a loved one received, including birth injuries or medication errors, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC to learn about your rights. To schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Long Island, New York, please call (516) 684-2900.

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