Umbilical cord hematopoietic stem cells

This type of cell is also called somatic stem cells because they already have an initial but not complete differentiation. There are others in the body and they can be found in the bone marrow, in the blood, in the amniotic fluid, in the mother’s milk, and in a very, very small way in all the tissues because, as we said before, they are used to maintain a good state of cheers but they are not so many that they can be extracted.

The sources that are currently used are bone marrow, peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood.

The donation and conservation of the umbilical cord

Cord blood is collected once the baby is born. Since late clamping of the cord  is important for the newborn but doing it too late would be contraindicated for blood collection because there would be little left, it has been established that clamping must take place at least 1 minute after the birth of the baby to have any benefits on both fronts. The cord is cut, and the midwife who attended the birth takes the blood from the cord (another name for the cord) which can take place both while the placenta is still in the uterus and after delivery (i.e. when the placenta is exit.

Cord blood can be donated to public banks or can be stored for yourself by paying a private bank that will cryopreserve it abroad.

For public donation, not everyone can access because there must be parameters to be respected, just as it happens for blood donation.

How to donate the cord

During pregnancy you must have an interview at the beginning of the third trimester with the blood bank of the hospital where you intend to give birth to your baby where they will explain the whole process step by step and have you sign an informed consent, there they will take into consideration the various analyzes already made and will check the woman’s medical history, for example, women who have dated several men in recent months or who have had a tattoo are excluded, drug addicts, women who have contracted infectious diseases such as syphilis, jaundice, HIV, HCV, HBV, viral hepatitis, piercings done less than a year ago, unprotected or promiscuous sex, use of hard drugs…

If the pregnancy is proceeding healthy, labor is going well, one of the exclusion criteria related to pregnancy or labor is not present such as fever the day before delivery, premature rupture of membranes greater than 12 hours, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, yes proceeds with the cord blood donation.Upon admission to the hospital, further blood is taken from the woman to carry out tests, always to check for infectious diseases. After 6-12 months from birth, the woman will be asked to do further blood tests to look again for the same infectious diseases that are used to check the health status of the donated blood sample, if these tests are not done the sample is considered not good and is not maintained. It is very important that the woman does these analyses!!

Donation is not possible in all hospitals, this can only be done in those that are supported by a blood bank and not in all of these it is possible to donate every day. Many, for example, do not accept donations on weekends because the blood bank is closed.

Not all collected samples are ultimately good for storage. There are criteria that must be respected and the most important is the quantity of cells contained in the sample and its good condition. However, when you donate, you don’t have the possibility of knowing if your donation was perfectly successful.

With the donation, the donated blood is anonymous and is practically no longer traceable, or at least it is very difficult to get your own blood back.

Autologous conservation

In Italy, the law prohibits the conservation of stem cells  (except when, among blood relatives of the unborn child, there is a pathology for which the therapeutic use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood is recognized as clinically valid and appropriate.) and therefore these they are kept abroad in private banks which are obviously subject to a fee. The cost is around 1800-3000 euros to store stem cells (some banks also store Wharton’s jelly – for 20-25 years).

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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