The Cord Blood Awareness Month is held in July every year. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion authorizes specific NHOs (National Health Observances) to raise awareness about the various health topics. One such topic is ‘Cord Blood.’ July has been declared as Cord Blood Awareness Month to let people know the importance of cord blood. The whole month is dedicated to educating people about cord blood and why it matters.
By making families and expectant mothers aware of the value of cord blood that is usually thrown away as a waste, a lot of lives can be saved, and illness can be treated. In addition, since cord blood banking benefits various families, during this month, NHO provides a unique opportunity for people to appreciate the contribution of the blood banking system, research cell, medical team, donors, and other involved parties.
If you are looking forward to a bundle of joy or an addition to your family, it is crucial to know about cord blood. With this in mind, through this article, we are going to talk about cord blood, its life-saving properties, and much more. So, this Cord Blood Awareness Month, make sure you learn about cord blood, why it is so essential, and spread the word about the superpowers of stem cells or cord blood in newborns.
Let’s celebrate Cord Blood Awareness Month!
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the remaining blood that is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a child. This blood is very unique as it contains potent hematopoietic stem cells. These cells have a remarkable history of over 30 years of saving lives as they are similar to those found in the bone marrow. Since umbilical cord blood includes billions of stem cells, they have regenerative medicinal properties that can be used to treat over 80 illnesses.
The stem cells found in the cord blood are also referred to as the 'building blocks of life' as they are the foundation for all the organs, tissues, blood, and immune system. These cells aim to heal the body and repair the system from inside.
Although cord blood benefits are endless, the umbilical cord is swept aside as medical waste after the child's birth. But thanks to scientific research and Cord Blood Awareness Month, people are becoming aware of the benefits of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the diseases that can be treated with them.
Cord Blood Benefits
Cord Blood comes with a lot of benefits. Right from treating serious illnesses to saving lives, this blood is an invaluable medical resource. Here are some of the cord blood benefits that you must know. Learning about them will encourage you to spread the word during Cord Blood Awareness month.
It is used for treating over 80 diseases: Cord blood is used in transplant medicine that is beneficial for treating more than 80 diseases. Some of the diseases that can be cured with cord blood are cancer, metabolic diseases, blood disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes, immune disorders, and many more.
Reducing the search time for a stem cell donor: Another benefit of saving cord blood or umbilical cord is that it reduces the search time for a stem cell donor. If the hospitals store cord blood, it can be readily available for the patients. It also increases the chances of patients finding a matching donor.
Cord blood can save lives: Being rich in stem cells, cord blood is used for curing diseases that can harm the immune system and lead to life risks. Also, it is easy to match with the donors, and to gather it is a painless process. Therefore, cord blood is highly known as a lifesaver, and it actually is. This is one of the most prominent cord blood benefits.
It holds a promising future: One of the benefits you must mention while spreading awareness during Cord Blood Awareness Month is that it has a bright future. Scientists are rigorously studying and researching the benefits, uses, and diseases treated with cord blood. It is a fascinating medicine field that is growing rapidly and has come out to be a regrow, replace, or repair method for ample diseases.
Learn About Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood banking is an uncomplicated process of storing cord blood. Once it is collected, it is frozen and can be stored for several years. Using the cord blood banking process, the medical team keeps the cord blood safely and securely within the child’s umbilical cord. For banking the cord blood of a child, parents have two options, i.e., a public cord blood bank or a private cord blood bank. Since most people are not aware of cord blood banking and its possibilities, celebrating Cord Blood Awareness Month has become the need of the hour.
Cord Blood Banking Clinical Trials
To make other people aware of cord blood banking during Cord Blood Awareness Month, a person must have adequate knowledge about it. One of the main aspects they must know about is Clinical Trials. Holding a promising future, clinical trials of cord blood banking have started. Medical teams and scientists are conducting trials using cord blood stem cells like neurological, cardiovascular, and auto-immune.
Under the phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, some diseases and disorders focused on were autism, cerebral palsy, and diabetes. Other than these, the clinical trials were also conducted for hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, and pre-/perinatal stroke. The initial results of these trials have shown excellent outcomes. Turning science fiction into reality, the scientist has proved that it has regenerative potential to save lives. This is why Cord Blood Awareness Month focuses on making more and more families aware of the benefits so that they will agree to store their baby’s cord blood.
Q1. What to choose- Public cord blood banking or Private cord blood banking?
Ans. It’s all up to the donor to choose between private or public cord blood banking. Both of the options have their own pros and cons. Public cord blood banking is free of cost but does not provide any rights over the stem cells after donation. Even if the donor or any family members need the cells, the public banking facilities offer no guarantee that the service will be available. On the other hand, private cord blood banking includes a fee but provides the right over the cells. In case of any emergency, the cells will be available to the donor on an immediate basis.
Q2. Are World Cord Blood Day and Cord Blood Awareness Month the same?
Ans. No, World Cord Blood Day and Cord Blood Awareness Month are not the same. Many people get confused between the two. However, World Cord Blood Day is celebrated in the month of November with an aim to increase the participation of the donors. On the other hand, Cord Blood Awareness Month is celebrated in June to spread awareness among more and more people about the importance of cord blood and its donation.
Q3. Does cord blood banking impact the mother or child?
Ans. Most people don’t prefer to donate cord blood of the child due to the fear of its negative impacts on the mother as well as the child. But the fact is there’s no risk to the child and the mother while donating cord blood. It is a part of the childbirth process and does not interfere with it. So even if you choose to donate, it won’t impact the process for anyone in any way.