As we come to the end of another great Cord Blood Awareness Month, we will be taking a look at just why cord blood banking is so important and what our options are for saving cord blood. Whilst the profile of cord blood banking has increased in recent years, many misconceptions and myths still exist and many people are still unaware of the importance of umbilical cord blood. Here are some key facts:
Despite the facts, more than 65,000 litres of cord blood are discarded each year in the UK. With over 800,000 births each year, that means the UK banks less than 1% of cord blood every year. If we saved just 50,000 units of cord blood, 80% of transplant requests would be met, saving hundreds of lives each year.
litres of cord blood are discarded each year in the UK
births each year, but less than 1% of cord blood is saved
of transplant requests would be met if we saved 50,000 units of cord blood
So, what options do I have to save my baby’s cord blood?
When it comes to saving cord blood, expectant parents have two options; cord blood donation or private cord blood banking.
If you are unable to privately bank your baby’s cord blood, then cord blood donation is a great idea. Donating your baby’s cord blood to a public bank means that it could be used to save the life of a stranger in need of a stem cell transplant.
It might even be used as part of research into new stem cell technologies for ground-breaking treatments for conditions like autism, brain injury, hearing loss and more.
The donation criteria for donating cord blood is strict and once the cord blood has been donated, it is irretrievable. That means should your baby need it in the future, they won’t have access to it.
Private cord blood banking stores your baby’s cord blood for the exclusive use of your baby and your family. By choosing to store cord blood in a private bank, you can access it at any time, if you should need it.
Private cord blood banking also allows you to access a wider variety of uses and is the only way to access the full range of approved therapies and clinical trials.
Bin it or bank it?
With the use of stem cells in all areas of medicine growing day by day, more awareness is needed regarding cord blood banking and donation among expectant parents. Ultimately, the choice is entirely up to you and it is important that you decide what is best for you and your baby. Regardless of what you decide, the key takeaway from Cord Blood Awareness Month is increasing awareness about the valuable resource of umbilical cord blood.
To wrap up Cord Blood Awareness Month we are hosting a live webinar on Friday 31 July at 1pm. We’ll be joined by our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Lesley-Ann Martin and our Chief Operations Officer, Claudia Rees who will be discussing everything we need to know about umbilical cord blood. We’ll also be chatting about COVID-19 and the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells in many clinical trials to treat the virus.
We’ve created this download which provides everything you need to know about pregnancy during COVID-19 and how stem cells are being used in clinical trials, which we will discuss on Friday.
Request a Welcome Pack
Find out more about cord blood banking by downloading a Welcome Pack now.