Navigation Links
Parents Bank Kids' Umbilical Cord Blood

Flyers in upscale doctors' offices portray it as the hot new baby-shower gift: a registry where friends and family chip in almost $2,000 to start// privately banking a newborn's umbilical cord blood, just in case of future illness.

That idea of biological insurance is a long shot that most mothers-to-be can safely ignore, say new guidelines from the nation's pediatricians that urge more parents to donate their babies' cord blood -- so that it might save someone's life today.

The guidelines come as the government begins setting up the first national cord-blood banking system, aiming to prevent some 12,000 deaths a year -- if public banks can compete with marketing-savvy private companies that now house the bulk of the world's preserved cord blood.

Cord blood is rich in stem cells, the building blocks that produce blood -- and the same stem cells that make up the bone-marrow transplants that help many people survive certain cancers and other diseases. But cord blood has some advantages: These younger stem cells are more easily transplanted into unrelated people than bone marrow is, and they can be thawed at a moment's notice, much easier than searching out a bone-marrow donor.

There should be plenty for both private and public banking, says an optimistic Dr. Elizabeth Shpall of the public M.D. Anderson Cord Blood Bank. After all, cord blood from most of the nation's 4 million annual births is thrown away.

Chief hurdles: Improving consumer awareness -- and the small number of hospitals that allow donations.

Her own work illustrates the industry's stark socio-economic contrasts: At Houston's Ben Taub General Hospital, Shpall finds the mostly Hispanic mothers-to-be not only unable to afford private banking -- few have even heard that cord blood has a medical use.

Armed with a $3 million federal grant to improve much-needed minority donations, she is working with Spanish-language TV and ra dio programs that in a few months will begin telling Houston moms about their cord blood choices, and which hospitals allow donations.

Her message: 'Unless you have a family member with cancer, it's unlikely you would ever need it, and you would be doing a service to humanity to donate it.''

Today, about 50,000 cord blood donations are stored in more than 20 public banks around the country. The new National Cord Blood Inventory aims to triple that number, enough that virtually anyone who needs stem cell treatment could find a match -- especially minority patients who today seldom can as most bone marrow donors are white.

Private banks have an estimated 400,000 units stored.

What's the controversy? Deciding who really needs to store a child's own cord blood for later use. Private storage costs $1,500 to $1,900 up front, and about $125 a year thereafter, although some offer special programs for lower-income families.

Guidelines published last month by the American Academy of Pediatrics say:

--Parents should consider private storage only if an older sibling has cancer or certain genetic diseases that cord blood is proven to treat.

--Everyone else should consider donating their child's cord blood. The odds that a child would need an infusion of his or her own cord blood later in life are slim, between one in 1,000 and one in 200,000.

Private banks vehemently disagree, arguing that as scientists learn more about stem cells, the blood could create personalized treatments for heart disease or other more common killers.

'That's still considered very experimental,' counters Dr. Mitchell Cairo of Columbia University Medical Center, who co-authored the new guidelines.

Also, doctors don't even know if cord blood remains usable after being stored for decades.

Still, last month Illinois doctors reported the first apparent success in treating a child's leukemia with her own cord blood -- something usually impossible because that blood so often carries the cancer-triggering genetic defect.

The report has expectant parents calling Advocate Hope Children's Hospital to ask if they, too, should store their babies' cord blood, says Dr. Ammar Hayani, who performed the transplant only after genetic testing showed that patient's cord blood was defect-free.

'It's probably overadvertised by some of these companies as this biological insurance. That's probably overdramatization of its potential,' says Hayani, who advises parents of the pediatric academy's guidelines. 'But I think parents need to know' both sides' arguments, he says.

About 11 states have recently passed legislation to try to increase the information that expectant parents receive about their cord blood choices: store it, donate it, or discard it.

It's no different than how families choose between public or private schools, says Steve Grant of Cord Blood Registry, which began offering the baby-gift option last year after noticing grandparents putting up the money.

'The competitive nature seems misplaced to me,' he says. 'Family banking is not in any way detracting from the ability to build a public system.'

Source-Bio-Bio Technology

Related medicine news :

1. Smoking may be influenced by Parents
2. Few Parents Help Kids Fight Acne
3. Parents Should Look For Signs Of Children Becoming Overweight
4. HIV-positive Parents Require More Counseling
5. Parents understand better the hearing loss problem in children if counseled
6. Parents Should Beware of Violent Video Games
7. Risk Of Pre-eclampsia May Be In The Genes Of The Parents.
8. Pediatricians Need To Talk To Parents Of Overweight Kids
9. Increased Monitoring By Parents May Result In Lower BMI In Children
10. Teenage Girls May Not Need Parents Consent For Abortion
11. Parents Of ADHD Children Suffering Sleep Problems
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has ... least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a ... centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the ... Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States ... creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have ... thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco ... using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated ... in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ... earnings conference call and webcast on Friday, November 3, ... (EDT) and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) / ... the company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for 2018, ... initiatives to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial outlook ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium ... Master File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has ... clinical programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading ... eTMF platform to increase transparency to enable greater ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: