Why Banking Cord Blood for Siblings Matters (Pros and Cons)

Cord Blood For Siblings

Blood from the umbilical cord from one child is the potential life saving treatment for their siblings. The first cord blood stem cell transplant was in 1988 when one sibling received stem cells from the other to treat their Fanconi Anaemia. Since then, there has been much research worldwide to establish the effectiveness of using stems cells from the cord blood for siblings.

Researchers believe that the stem cells can successfully treat more than 80 serious illnesses such as sickle cell anaemia and leukaemia.

The outlook is very optimistic. Siblings are genetically close and banking the cord blood from one sibling will be a 100% match for themselves in the future and up to a 75% match for their sibling.

Cord Blood For Siblings

Should You Bank Cord Blood for Siblings

When can cord blood really make the difference?

Cord blood has many bonuses including the fact that it rarely contains any infectious diseases. Also it is much more likely to be accepted by the recipient’s body than adult stem cells plus –

‘ The fluid is easy to collect and has 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marrow.’

There are a number of medical conditions that can be successfully treated with stem cells, but It is critical that the stem cells used are a close match.

The stem cells are infused into the patient’s bloodstream, where they change into the necessary cells to boost the body’s immune system. This is so that it can effectively fight the disease and repair or replace any badly damaged cells so that the patient recovers.

when can cord blood be used for siblingsFor stem cells in the umbilical cord blood to be compatible it must contain certain proteins (genes). These are called called HLA markers (Human Leukocyte Antigens).

These HLAs are passed on genetically by a baby’s parents, with half the genes being inherited from the mother and the other half, from the father.

A good genetic match is essential if the stem cells are going to be accepted by the recipient body’s immune system.

Using the stem cells donated by a sibling is ideal because genetically the match between siblings is the closest. Whilst a perfect match is the most ideal situation, some stem cell treatments can be successful even if there is not a 100% match.

Are there any problems using cord blood of siblings?

While siblings’ blood offers a much better chance of being a close match, the children must be ‘whole’ brothers and sisters and not ‘half’ as this reduces the chance of a good match.

Whole siblings have a 25% that they will be a complete match and a 50% chance of being a 50% match. Interestingly, they also have a 25% chance that they do not match at all.

When can cord blood be used for siblings?

should I bank cord blood for siblingsStem cells from cord blood can be used for the newborn baby or their siblings. Some serious illnesses can only be treated with the child’s own cord blood. This is known as ‘autologus’. Other illnesses need to be treated with the stem cells from the cord blood of a sibling which is called ‘allogenic’.

The range of conditions that can be treated allogenically include leukaemia and lymphoma and cancers.

There is a third type of transplant which is known as a ‘Haploidentical transplant’. This type of transplant is becoming very common because for it to be successful, there only needs to be a 50% match between donor and recipient. Thus making it possible for the donor to be a parent, child or sibling.

Cord blood is just one of three sources of blood-forming stem cells that surgeons use in transplants. Bone marrow is also used and ‘peripheral’ blood, which is blood that circulates throughout the body.

Cord blood for siblings is favoured because it carries a much lower chance of developing GVHD – graft-versus-host disease. The Miracle Cord website explains that this is a very serious condition that occurs when the healthy cells in the donor tissue attack the immunocompromised cells in the body of the recipient.

If this occurs, there is nearly 50% chance that the patient will die. Miracle Cord also quotes the important statistic that children having a transplant using blood matched from a sibling have less than a 10% chance of developing GVHD.

Is it still best to bank cord blood for each of my children?

problems with cord blood for siblingsIt is important to consider banking cord blood for each of your children, especially if your family has a history of any medical conditions that can be successfully treated with stem blood cells.

The reason for this is that there is the chance that your children – even if they are full brothers and sisters – may not be good matches.

Although banking cord blood for siblings is not cheap, it will definitely give you the peace of mind that you are safeguarding each of your children against more that 80 known serious medical conditions that can be treated by an infusion of cord blood stem cells.

Miracle cord explains how the chances of a good match increase too –

‘The more siblings with banked cord blood, the more chance you have of finding a match for transplants or other therapies for which sibling stem cells are an option or in fact required.

The probability of finding an HLA-identical sibling donor depends on the number of siblings: While the likelihood of a perfect match is 25% for patients with one sibling, it goes up to 44% for those with two siblings, 58% for those with three, 68% for those with four, and up to 90% for patients with eight siblings’.

Final Thoughts – Cord Blood For Siblings

Certainly, the discussion about cord blood and its uses will continue for many years to come. However, one point that researchers are delighted to have found is that cord blood can be very beneficial for siblings with a serious medical condition that can be treated with stem cells…



4 Important Medical Benefits of Saving Umbilical Cord Blood

benefits of saving umbilical cord

With the recent surges in the number of people living with infectious diseases and the unpredictable occurrence of pandemics globally, insuring your life and that of your loved ones against infections and diseases is inarguably a top priority. With their unique therapeutic ability, the benefits of saving umbilical cord blood cannot be over-emphasized.

Cord blood cells provide the kind of protection needed to help fight against several diseases that adversely affect your body. 

There are elaborate, concise, and explanatory details on the benefits of saving stem cells in this content. This information will better orientate and give you undeniable reasons why practicing Cord blood storage is beneficial.

Different Medical Benefits of Saving Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

benefits of saving umbilical cord

Stem cells have unique regenerative features and are potent for treating various disorders, including leukemia, diabetes, heart diseases, blood diseases, etc. The use of stem cells to treat multiple ailments is advantageous, especially if you are among those who can’t bear the thought/idea of going through reconstructive surgery to alleviate chronic medical conditions.

We’re more than delighted to inform you that the benefits in line with umbilical cord blood cell treatment have significantly increased over the years. You have nothing to worry about because this section is geared towards shedding more light on cord blood benefits. 

·         Immune Deficiency

Nowadays, Immunodeficiency is a common health condition amongst people from all walks of life. It interrupts your body’s capability to defend itself against disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. There are mainly two types of immunodeficiency disorders, namely primary and secondary Immunodeficiency.

The primary type is usually hereditary and is present during birth. In contrast, the second type often results from complications from using certain drugs or other primary disorders like diabetes or HIV. 

The ability of stem cells to regenerate makes it very effective in treating immune deficiencies. Moreover, stem cells possess the unique ability to regulate the immune system to shut off pathological responses while keeping their ability to fight against invading disease-causing organisms present in your body.

·         Leukemia

Leukemia is a medical condition referring to the loss of the original structure of the white blood cells. This condition affects the functionality of these cells, therefore exposing the body to germs and infections. It’s a form of blood cancer that makes the white blood cells in the bone marrow harmful to your body system.

Stem cells have profound effects in treating leukemia, and this is because stem cell transplants are used to replace cells in the bone marrow that have been affected by the actions of leukemia. Umbilical cord blood cell transplant is an excellent technique for tackling leukemia. 

·         Blood Diseases

Blood diseases generally refer to the infection of blood cells, especially the three main components of the blood. This includes red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all tissue in the body; white blood cells help fight against infections; and platelets, which allow the blood to clot.

Blood disorders are also responsible for the disease of the liquid portion of blood, called plasma. Symptoms associated with blood disorders include fatigue and indiscriminate loss of weight. Examples of this type of infection include anemia, hemophilia, thalassemia, polycythemia Vera, malaria, lymphoma, etc.

Stem cell therapy does a lot in helping to restore the most vital body fluid in the body system back to life, as the new cord blood cell, which is transplanted, can help find and destroy cancerous cells in the body, and in turn, help build up healthy blood cells. 

·         Metabolic Disorders

Metabolic disorders are considered to be among the deadliest diseases worldwide, and this is because it affects significant numbers of the global population. They are medical conditions usually present at birth and occurs when abnormal chemical reactions disrupt normal metabolic processes in your body.

They encompass deficiencies in enzymes involved in the breakdown and build-up of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids. The enzymatic actions on specific organs control metabolic activities and functional parts in your body.

Regenerating stem cells play beneficial and essential roles in treating any form of metabolic deficiency, which means that you may not have to undergo an organ transplant or other form of metabolic treatment to put your metabolism back in shape. Furthermore, stem cells transplants help to prevent post-surgical complications and reduce pain allied with surgical operation minimally. 

What’s Contained in an Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure between the baby and mother. It helps to connect your baby to you through your placenta. The umbilical cord assists in the transport of nutrients and food materials from the mother to the baby.

It consists of three blood vessels– one vein that carries food and oxygen from the placenta to your baby and two arteries that function as a pathway in taking waste materials from your baby back to the placenta. 

The umbilical cord contains Wharton’s jelly; a gelatinous fluid essentially made up of mucopolysaccharide. The mucoid connective tissue forms around the two arteries and one vein of the umbilical cord.

Whose Stem Blood Is It (Mother or baby)

You may have always wanted to know whose stem blood would be collected and stored for treatment in the future; we’re happy to tell you that you’re covered on this and don’t need to worry any longer. The umbilical cord is part of the developing baby/fetus, and this, in turn, implies that the stem cells to be used belongs to the baby


Final Thoughts – Benefits of Saving Umbilical Cord Stem Cells 

Undoubtedly, after going through this section on benefits of saving umbilical cord blood, you would see that cord blood cells are beneficial and effective at treating significant numbers of deadly and infectious diseases in the body. Thus, stem cells play vital roles and help combat health issues in your body system.

Private cord blood banking whereby utilizing the benefits of saving umbilical cord blood for your direct family is available to expected parents through numerous cord blood banks. Donating your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells for medical science and to be available for other families in need, is a generous gesture, Public cord blood banks are common and most maternity hospitals will facilitate the process.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? 5 Great Reasons to Say It Is

Is cord blood banking worth it

Is Cord Blood Banking: Is It Worth It?

Sometimes, your body system is disrupted by diseases or infections, affecting how your body functions. Your body may require treatment to restore the body system to its original healthy state, and these treatments may be in the form of a stem cell transplant. Let us consider the question, “Is cord blood banking worth it“?

Over the years, Cord blood banking proves to be a very beneficial method in ensuring health and has demonstrated its worth in treating devastating diseases. 

Through this article, we shall discuss important topics relating to the importance of Cord blood banking. This will help further increase your knowledge of the benefits and relevance of this form of health investment


Risks associated with Cord blood banking

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It

Even with the exciting benefits associated with Cord blood banking, there are risks to using Cord blood for treating diseases. The main risk that may be a matter of concern to you is that Cord blood transplant patients are more vulnerable to infection in the first two to three months after undergoing a Cord blood transplant.

Prevalence among adolescents is great because they require a relatively large number of cells. 


Benefits of Umbilical Cord Banking 

Umbilical Cord blood cells stored in Cord blood banks have proven to be a valuable asset, and this is because they can be kept for a very long time, thereby providing you with a stable source of Cord blood cells. The banked cord blood cells can later be used to treat many threatening diseases that may emerge in the future.

Cord blood banking helps you create an advanced defense against some diseases, making it a very profitable investment for you.


Cost Wise, Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It?

Umbilical cord storage and collection attract a certain fee during processing. The cost of processing differs among various blood banks due to cord blood banks’ different collection and storage methods. Umbilical cord blood cell deposits made into public banks are entirely free of any charges.

Still, private blood banks require that collection and storage fees are paid before they can deliver their services. Yet, it’s an investment of immense gain because Cord blood cells possess unique therapeutic abilities that can prove helpful in later years. 


Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Let’s Look at Why It Is

1.      Umbilical cord blood is readily available

Embracing the innovative ideas of cord blood banking is genuinely worth it mainly because cord blood cells collected from your baby’s umbilical cord can be done in advance and stored. Due to this fact, cord blood cells can be made available upon request by anyone who needs them for treatment.

Umbilical cord blood cells are readily available for use in contrast to bone marrow or peripheral blood, allowing for faster transplanting time, making it more reliable and efficient.


2.      Umbilical cord blood transplants have a lower risk of viral infections

Another benefit to the use of cord blood cells is the reduced risk of viral infection, which can make cord blood cells suitable for use. This feature ensures the prevention of post-transplant complications on the person receiving the transplant, thereby ensuring their safety.

The less likely chance of cord blood cells recipient to have problems or infections after use gives it an edge over bone marrow transplants and makes them very beneficial.


3.      Cord blood cells play major supportive roles to the immune system during the treatment of cancer

While treating cancer, cord blood cells can play beneficial roles in helping to support the immune system. Their unique rebuilding ability aids the body in restoring body cells that could have been affected during treatment, which ensures the smooth running of general immuno-processes in the body even after treatment.


4.      Umbilical cord blood transplants do not require a perfect match

One exciting advantage of banking cord blood cells is that the donor and recipient’s stem cells do not necessarily need to match perfectly during treatment. This, in turn, implies that more people can receive and use cord blood cells to treat infectious diseases.


5.      Reduced risk of health complications for mother and baby

Collection and storage of cord blood cells are quickly done and poses no health risk to either the mother or child. Cord blood cells are collected from the umbilical cord after giving birth, and it is a relatively painless process, especially in comparison to bone marrow transplants.

The entire process from collection to storage is stress-free. This feature of cord blood banking ensures the safety and healthiness of the mother and child, which are indispensable for successful cord blood collection and storage.



Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Let’s Look at the Cons. 

1.      Stem cells collected from Cord blood are few

A single donor’s Cord blood may not be sufficient in the case of adult and adolescents stem cells to transplant and can, in turn, lead to requiring multiple donors.


2.      Not all Cord blood cells are eligible

Cord blood cells follow a thorough testing process to ensure that they meet requirements for storage to ensure the safety of patients that will later use them for treatment. However, not all Cord blood cells reach eligibility status and may end up being discarded.


Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Public vs Private Banking

Cord blood cells taken from your child’s umbilical cord can be privately kept in a private blood bank or donated to a public blood bank.

1.      Private blood banks

Private cord blood banks are cord blood banks that store cord blood for use by the depositing family. The cord blood cells stored in private cord blood banks belong to the depositing family, and they can only make important decisions on how it’s being used. These cord blood banks usually charge a fee for processing and an annual storage fee, making them quite expensive in contrast to public deposits. 

2.      Public blood banks

This type of cord blood bank collects and stores cord blood cells and makes them available for use by anyone who may need them for a transplant. Choosing to deposit your child’s cord blood cells in a public blood bank is an excellent idea because the bank covers all fees during collection and storage and excuses you from expenses associated with private donations. 


Considering the increase of disease outbreaks and genetic disorders globally and the benefits that come with Cord blood banking, you would realize that umbilical cord storage can prove to be a wise choice in the long run. Undoubtedly, Cord blood banking isn’t just immensely beneficial but also a wise and profitable choice.

If you’re ready to investigate further, we provide information on Cord blood banking options available in your area and comparisons between the different cord blood banks.