Why Should I Save My Baby’s Cord Blood?
Stem cells can also be transferred from one person to another through bone marrow transplants, but cord blood transplants hold several advantages over this method. Bone marrow transplants require the donor and the recipient to be a perfect, or almost perfect HLA genetic match. This can make locating a sample quite difficult. There is a national registry in place, but there is no guarantee that a match will be found. It can also be extremely difficult to find a match if your ethnic group is underrepresented in national registries. Sometimes members of the same family are a genetic match, but again, this is not guaranteed. Bone marrow transplants can also be a risky and painful procedure for both the donor and the recipient.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are looked at favorably by transplant specialists because they can eliminate many of the problems associated with bone marrow transplants. For instance, a child's umbilical cord blood stem cells are guaranteed to be a perfect genetic match. Also, HLA type genetic matching requirements of cord blood stem cells are not as demanding as bone marrow's, which means it is more likely to find a match between family members. And after transplant, the chances of rejection are less with umbilical cord blood stem cells than they are with the stem cells from bone marrow.