Stem Cells, Cord Blood & Future Health Technologies
Since I became pregnant I have thought a lot about stem cells and cord blood ......
Having worked hard to keep my twin boys healthy for 9 months it seems careless to throw away the placenta and umbilical cords without capturing some of their magic potential before it goes to waste. After all, thanks to scientific development within this pioneering field there is a chance that the cells collected could once again be called on to sustain life.
Having done quite a bit of research I have taken the decision to
Stem CellsSamples of tissue and blood from the cord will be collected immediately after delivery, processed and stored cryogenically for an initial period of 25 years. The collection will be simple and painless causing no distress to either the babies or me. The collection is not done until the cord has been clamped and cut - the point at which its alternative destination is to be discarded with the hospital clinical waste.
As well as the potential to help the twins the cord stem cells have the potential to help other family members. My Father has been diagnosed with a Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and, while the twins were not conceived with this in mind, there is a chance that their cells could help their Grandfather.
Stored cord blood stem cells already help treat more than 85 different medical conditions of the blood and immune system and experts are hopeful that umbilical tissue has far greater potential in the field of regenerative medicine. Research has shown that the stem cells in umbilical cord tissue, as opposed to cord blood, have the potential to repair damaged bone, cartilage, tendons and muscles, and combat nerve damage and chronic inflammation.
Having read about the service offered by Future Health Technologies I was aware of the potential difference it could make to my twins and maybe even to my Father's life. I think pregnant women should be made routinely aware of the potential value of umbilical cord tissue and the storage services that are available in order that they can make informed decisions, perhaps as part of their birth plan.
Professor Judith Hoyland, Research Group Leader for Tissue Injury and Repair at Manchester University's School of Clinical and Laboratory Studies, says 'the area of regenerative medicine is hugely exciting and no longer in the sphere of science fiction.'
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