What Do You Think About This?

October 30, 2008

Culture

What do you think about baby umbilical cord-blood banking? I first heard of it when expecting my first child, in the early 90s. (I’d also heard that hospitals take the placenta and sell them and that they were used in things like shampoo and hand lotions, is this true?). Cryo-Cell is a company that distributes umbilical cord collection kits to expectant parents shortly before the birth of their baby. When the baby is born, a small collection of the cord blood is saved and stored at the Cryo-Cell facility for future use should it arise.

I have a somewhat personal experience with this. A close friend of mine had a baby who later developed bone cancer. The young child needed a bone marrow transplant, but no suitable donors could be found. So the couple had another baby, and this new baby’s bone marrow was a match. It was a very emotional time, though. I suppose that storing something like cord blood would have helped in this situation, because stem cells collected from cord blood has been shown to be useful in treating many diseases, including leukemia, anemia, lymphoma, diabetes, and cerebral palsy. It’s pretty amazing, actually. I also had another friend who, before major surgery, banked her own blood ahead of time. She was concerned about the safety of the public blood supply (this was during the mid-80s, during the threat of AIDS in the blood supply) and wanted to ensure that any transfusions would be of her own stored blood. I thought it was a smart thing to do.

There is a lot more information about this at the Cryo-Cell website; I found the information to be riveting and very comprehensive. They even offer gift certificates for the holidays! You can buy a collection kit and give it away as a holiday gift (or even a baby gift). (See Cryo-Cell’s current offers here). What do you think about something like that? Would you appreciate a gift certificate from a grandma for something like this? <

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