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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as ... Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) ... Daylight Time). As previously announced on May ... definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... OAKLAND, N.J. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in the design, development and manufacturing of collagen ... and regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... Sales and Marketing to further leverage the growing ... surgery medical devices. Bill joins the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical ... structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: