August 05, 2015

It is estimated that there are more than 130 million births worldwide each year. Some of these parents choose to save their newborn’s umbilical cord blood and tissue through family cord blood services. Because many more do not choose family cord banking to salvage valuable stem cells found in the umbilical cord, which are otherwise discarded as medical waste, CariCord is seeking to raise awareness of the many cord blood and tissue banking benefits.

The American Stroke Association states that, in the U.S., a stroke occurs in roughly one in every 3,500 births and is one of the leading causes of death for children between the ages of 1 and 19. Of the children that survive a stroke, approximately 60% are left with permanent neurological deficits. These are typically cerebral palsy and hemiparesis or hemiplegia, partial or full paralysis on one side of the body or another. The risk is greater around birth, the time in which umbilical cord blood and tissue banking would be performed. What is cord tissue? It is the lining of the umbilical cord, a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells that carry many cord tissue benefits.

Recently, an FDA-regulated clinical trial has been launched, in order to investigate the use of stem cells collected through umbilical cord blood banking to treat children diagnosed with perinatal or prenatal pediatric stroke. These cells would be collected by family cord blood services, in order to fully utilize the cord blood and tissue benefits. Once this clinical trial is complete, families may be able to use their child’s cells, collected through family cord blood and tissue banking, to treat pediatric stroke in infants and children. Many can benefit from umbilical cord blood and tissue banking, both kids and parents alike.

Stroke symptoms, prevention efforts, risk factors, and treatment are often different in children than adults. Because of this, stem cells collected through umbilical cord blood banking would be used differently to treat children than the manner in which adult stroke victims are treated. Scientists who are aware of the numerous cord blood and tissue banking benefits need to conduct more research in order to better understand how to properly diagnose and treat strokes in children using stem cell therapies.

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