What is cord blood? As the name suggests, it’s literally the blood that emerges after a newborn baby’s umbilical cord is cut by a doctor. On the surface, that may not indicate that this type of blood is in any way special, but cord blood does have some remarkably unique properties: specifically, it’s rich in stem cells, which can be used in a range of medical procedures. For example, cord blood may be used to help someone with a blood or immune system disease.
In the past, stem cells have been acquired through bone marrow, but that can be a tricky procedure. For this reason, as time goes on more and more medical professionals are turning to cord blood as a source for stem cells. But what, exactly, are the benefits of using cord blood?
There are essentially two major options for medical specialists in need of stem cells: collect them via bone marrow or cord blood. The former option can be problematic, as collecting bone marrow can be incredibly difficult (particularly for the donor).
In comparison, collecting cord blood is very easy. It poses no medical threat whatsoever to the mother or her new child. In some states there’s even a designated service that takes care of collecting the blood and transporting it to the places where it’s needed most.