The cord blood: What You Should Know
The cord blood is present in the blood vessels of the placenta and umbilical cord, and is collected after the baby is born and then cut the umbilical cord; an important detail.
"Because cord blood is usually collected after delivery and after cutting the cord, intervention is generally safe for both mother and baby," says Dr. Keith Wonnacott, PhD, Branch Chief Therapies Office Phones Cell Therapies, Tissue and Genetic FDA.
The use of cord blood is only approved for interventions "hematopoietic stem cell transplantation," which was performed in patients with disorders of the hematopoietic (blood producing). The cord blood contains blood cell production can be used to treat patients with cancers of the blood such as leukemias and lymphomas, as well as certain blood disorders and immune system, such as stem cells of sickle cell anemia and Wiskott-Aldrich
"The cord blood is useful because it is a source of stem cells that are transformed into blood cells. Cord blood transplants can be used for people who need feedback, ie ´re-produce´ these cells producing blood cells, "says Dr. Wonnacott.
For example, in many cancer patients, the disease is found in the blood cells. Chemotherapy to treat these patients undergoing cancer cells eliminates both as producing healthy stem cells of blood cells. Transplantation of umbilical cord stem cells can support the regeneration of blood cells following chemotherapy.
However, the cord blood is not a cure-all.
"Given that cord blood contains stem cells, have been several cases of fraud related to cord blood," says Dr. Wonnacott. "Consumers think that stem cells can cure all diseases, but science has not shown this to be true.Patients should maintain skepticism if the cord blood is available for uses other than blood regeneration by stem "cells.
Information about the storage of cord blood
After obtaining the cord blood is frozen and can be stored safely for many years. "The method of freeze-called ´criopreservación´-is very important to maintain the integrity of the cells," says Dr. Wonnacott. "The cord blood will be stored with care."
Blood from the umbilical cord can be stored in a private bank, so it is available if the baby in the future-or relatives of first or second degree, they need it. The private cord banks typically charge for the collection and storage of blood.
Alternatively, blood can be donated to a public bank so that doctors can use to treat patients who need blood stem cell transplants.
The FDA regulates the cord blood in different ways, depending on its origin, processing level and intended use.
The stored cord blood for personal use, use in relatives of first or second degree, and that also meets other requirements of the FDA regulations, does not need the consent of this body before being used. Still, private cord banks must comply with other requirements of the FDA, including those that require them to register and enroll in the listings, be updated on the proper use of tissues standards, testing and analysis and detection of diseases infectious patients (except when the cord blood is going to be used by the original donor). These FDA requirements ensure the safety of these products to minimize the risk of contamination and transmission of infectious diseases.
The cord blood is stored to treat patients with unrelated donor is eligible to be considered a "drug" and a "biological product". The cord blood in this category must meet additional requirements and be authorized in accordance with a Biologics License Application, or be subjected to research new drug application before it can be used. The FDA requirements help ensure the safety and efficacy of the products in their intended uses.
Not all units of cord blood meeting the requirements necessary to be stored in a public bank, added Safa Karandish, MT, safety officer for the FDA Consumer. If this happens, part of the donated cord blood may be used for non-clinical research.
Tips for Consumers
If you are considering donating to bank cord blood, it is important to study the various options during pregnancy to have enough time to make a decision before the baby is born. If you want to donate to a public bank, ask if the hospital will give birth in a program storage of cord blood.
If you have questions about the risks and the procedures followed to obtain blood, or the donation process, ask your doctor.
The FDA also has a database which is available with information on banks registered cord blood.
All assertions that the cord blood is a miracle cure is not created; it is not. Some parents may consider using a private bank as an "insurance policy" against diseases that may arise in the future. But it is important to remember that currently the only approved use of cord blood is the treatment of hematologic (blood disorders).
Also good to know that, in some cases, the cord blood is stored may not be appropriate for the child who donated."For example, it is not possible to cure some diseases or genetic defects with cord blood containing the same disease or defect," says Karandish.
Parents of children from ethnic minorities should especially consider donating to a public bank, says Dr. Wonnacott, because the more donations make these groups receive more help minority patients who need a stem cell transplant. (Recipients must be "compatible" with donors so that doctors are more likely to find a good candidate among donors within the ethnic group of the receiver).
"As far as public banks is concerned, there is a clear need for cord blood," says Dr. Wonnacott. "And there is a need especially among minorities to have stem cell transplants. The cord blood is an excellent source of stem cells for transplantation. "
And these transplants can change the lives of patients.
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GET YOUR MEDICARE READY FOR 2015 IN GUNNISON
Do you make resolutions for the new year? Here are some easy ones you can keep that will help get you ready for 2015:
1. Check to see that you have the right insurance card to use when you go to the doctor in 2015. Did you change your health or drug plan during Medicare Open Enrollment? If you did and you havent received your new card or welcome packet by January 1st, contact your plan for help. If you need to fill a prescription right away, find out how to fill a prescription without your card.
If you changed from a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) back to Original Medicare, use your red, white, and blue Medicare card when you go to the doctor. Get a new card if you lost or damaged yours, or need to update your information.
2. Budget for next years Medicare Part B deductible.
Remember, if you have Medicare Part B and youre in Original Medicare, youll have to meet your deductible before your Medicare coverage pays for services and supplies. Next year, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $147, the same as it was in 2014. Plan your health care budget to account for the increased cost of doctor visits for the time that it will take to cover your deductible. Find out more about Medicare costs in 2015.
3. Schedule appointments to get any preventive tests or screenings.
Medicare covers all sorts of preventive services to keep you healthy and screenings to check for health problems, and many are covered each year at no cost to you. Ask your doctor when you should schedule your wellness visit and other screenings. You can also use MyMedicare.gov to track your visits and make a calendar of preventive services.
Talk to your doctor about these covered preventive services to find out whats right for your health needs.
4. Make sure your drug or health plan meet your needs.
If not, Medicare has a way for you to get the coverage you want instead of having to wait for the next Open Enrollment. At any time during the year, you can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that has a 5-star rating.
Plan ratings are based on member surveys, information from doctors and health care providers, and other sources. The plan ratings are scores that show the quality and performance of the plan, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest rated plans.
You can make this change once per calendar year. Find 5-star health and drug plans in your area.
Remember to check www.medicare.gov for the latest Medicare news and information, and have a happy and healthy new year!