Umbilical cords are rich in stem cells and can help treat diseases and brain traumas in future years. Many parents are storing stems cells to help protect their family’s future. It’s a costly process, but one that many parents are considering. In this guide, we describe what stem cells collection is, its pros and cons, how the procedure works, and finally, where you can store your stem cells, both private and public.
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Cord blood is the blood that is leftover in the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery. Towards the end of the third trimester, the mother transfers immune system-boosting cells to baby to prepare for birth. This transfer allows the cord to be rich in healthy stem cells that can be collected.
These are potentially life-saving stem cells that can be used to treat cancer, blood diseases, or immune system disorders. The fluid is easy to collect and has 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marrow. Another advantage of the procedure is that stem cells from cord blood rarely carry any infectious diseases and are half as likely to be rejected as adult stem cells.
Cord blood banking started in 1988, and since then, there have been over 40,000 successful cord blood transplant cases across the globe. Cord blood is rich in stem cells and immune system cells, and the medical uses of these cells has been expanding at a rapid pace.
The stem cells from cord blood banking can combat numerous diseases, such as:
Cord blood is currently approved by the FDA for the treatment for nearly 80 diseases, and cord blood treatments have been performed more than 35,000 times around the globe to treat various diseases. Transplanting cord blood stem cells into patients receiving these treatments can help produce new blood, improving their health.
However, studies do suggest that the chance that a child will use their cord blood over their lifetime is between 1 in 400 and 1 in 200,000. Also, the stored blood cells cannot always be used because if a genetic mutation caused the child's disease, it would also be in the stem cells collected at birth.
Cord blood banking needs to be discussed and confirmed with your doctor since the procedure is done directly after birth. Upon admission, the mother’s blood is collected to be tested for any infectious diseases.
Upon birth but before the placenta is delivered, the healthcare provider clamps the umbilical cord in two places, around 25 centimeters apart, and cuts the cord, separating mother from child. Remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta is approx. 40–120 milliliters of cord blood. The healthcare provider will extract the cord blood from the umbilical cord, and the procedure only takes a few minutes and is entirely painless for both the mother and baby. The collected blood is then sealed and sent to a cord blood bank for testing and storing.
To store your stem cells in Singapore, you can store them at a private cord blood clinic or the public Singapore Cord Blood Bank.
When going to a public hospital, it's important to note that donation will be available for anyone who needs it. You cannot store it for personal use at a public hospital, but your donation might save a life. It is similar to donating blood to a public hospital. You can donate your cord blood at the:
Private cord blood banks will store the donated blood for the donor and family members only. There are a few private options in Singapore, and they are listed below!
Cord Life is the first cord blood bank to be set up in Singapore. There are many reasons you should store stem cells, and Cord Life explains some of them: You get a once-in-a-life time chance to collect cord blood so you have a readily available source if you need it in the future. Research shows that patients have a lower chance of complications in transplants when they receive stem cells from relatives. Some of the most common cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, are treatable with stem cell transplants.
An experienced cord blood bank and a leader in the local and Asian cord blood storage industry, Artivion (formerly known as CryoLife) regularly teams up with some of the world’s most prestigious and recognized institutions to research new ways of applying cord blood treatment and stem cell therapy. So if you want to protect your family's future, why not book a consultation today.
Artivion, One Marina Boulevard, #28-00, 1 Marina Boulevard, Singapore, +65 9784 9820, www.cryolife.com
CellResearch Corp is the pioneer and global leader in Cord Lining Stem Cells for Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine and Therapy. If you’re considering banking cord blood, why not go that extra mile for your child and close relatives, and make an appointment with CellResearch Corp. After all, your family and your child are your future.
CellResearch Corp, Grace Global Raffles Building, #08-02, 137 Market Street, +65 6444 9968, www.cellresearchcorp.com
Stem cells stored in family banks can be used for your baby (autologous), or for siblings or any other family member (allogenic), as the chances of an HLA match are much higher compared to cells of unrelated donors. Securing the cryopreserved cord blood of your child ensures peace of mind, as you'll benefit from knowing that there is a potential lifesaving option if unfortunate conditions occur in family members later in life.
Cryovia, Shaw House, #15-01, 350 Orchard Road, Singapore, +65 6737 8482, www.cryoviva.com.sg
StemCord is an established private cord blood bank that specializes in the collection, processing, storage, and retrieval of cord blood stem cells. When you bank your newborn’s cord blood stem cells with StemCord, rest assured that StemCord will provide you with the highest quality and personalized service every step of the way, through to the future.
Stem Cord, Gleneagles Medical Centre, #02-13, 6 Napier Road, Singapore, +65 6471 2002, www.stemcord.com