What is Cord Blood?
When your baby is born, the cutting of his or her umbilical cord signifies the beginning of a new life. Typically, your umbilical cord and placenta are discarded as medical waste. Recent research has shown that the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta, or cord blood, contains valuable hematopoietic stem cells.
Cord blood is a rich source for healthy stem cells, which have been used to cure children and adults with many blood and genetic disorders, making it a powerful resource for treatment. The healthy cells are used to replace the damaged ones, and that makes cord blood truly amazing!
Each cord blood unit collected is stored in our state-of-the-art cord blood bank until medically needed by another patient (if donated to the public bank) or by your family (if stored in the family bank). Donated units, which cannot be used for medical care, may be used through our by researchers to develop new treatments for curing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and childhood cancers including leukemia.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are healthy cells that can be extracted from your baby’s umbilical cord, after childbirth. What makes stem cells unique is that they are “non-specialized” at the time of storage. This means that, when transplanted into a patient, the stem cells have the opportunity to renew themselves and become specialized based on the patient’s need at the time of treatment. Doctors all over the world use stem cells to treat leukemia and over 80 other diseases and illnesses.
Additionally, research scientists are exploring uses for lifesaving stem cells in treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, autism, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, cartilage tears, thyroid diseases, and many more conditions.
Where Can I Learn More About Cord Blood?
We hope you find our website an invaluable tool to gain a better understanding of what cord blood can do for the health of our community or your family. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits and the process of cord blood banking, or get answers to the frequently asked questions we receive, you will discover this site is designed to help educate our donors and clients. Should you need more information, we have compiled the following list of resources for you:
At the Upstate Cord Blood Bank in Syracuse, transplant centers across the world will be able to access donated cord blood and its stem cells for valuable lifesaving treatments and research. These stem cells have the potential to be used in the treatment of as many as 80 different conditions and diseases, and potentially more as new research expands its available applications.
Want to save lives with the gift of cord blood? For more information about donating your baby’s cord blood in our public bank or storing it in the family bank, please call the Upstate Cord Blood Bank today at (315) 492-2600.