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Cord Blood Banking in Pakistan

1. What is cord blood?

The blood that stays in the umbilical cord and placenta after your baby is born is called cord blood. Many cancers, immune deficiencies, and genetic disorders can be treated with cord blood stem cells.

2. What is cord blood banking in Pakistan?

In Pakistan, a practice known as cord blood banking involves collecting and storing the umbilical cord blood of a newborn. In order to treat serious illnesses, this cord blood contains important stem cells. Donating cord blood can be done through either public or private organisations. To find out if cord blood banking is a good option for your family, consult your healthcare practitioner.

Donating cord blood to a public storage bank or paying for private storage are the two options for storing cord blood. Each has its advantages and disadvantages; which one is ideal for your family will rely on a number of things.

3. What is private cord blood banking in Pakistan?

Parents in Pakistan can opt to bank their baby’s cord blood for future use or to pass it on to a sibling through private cord blood banking. The cord blood technically “owns” the family, who have full discretion over its use.

Private cord banking should only be considered in cases where a family member has a hereditary disorder that could respond positively to stem cell therapies, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP). Reason being, that sick relative might benefit more from a transfusion of your baby’s cord blood than from a stranger.

As an additional form of health insurance, some families opt to preserve their newborn’s cord blood. This way, your loved ones will have access to your genetically distinct stem cells in the event that they prove effective in treating additional diseases in the future.

It is currently unlikely that your child will be able to use her own cord blood, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG). Additionally, there is no assurance that cord blood samples preserved today will remain viable (i.e., in the same state as when frozen) in some unspecified future date. 

Finding the perfect bank may also require some legwork if you opt for the private route. It might take a few weeks to get a collection kit if you want to bank your baby’s cord blood. Prior to the start of labour, you must ensure that your hospital is able to collect cord blood, have a blood test, and sign a consent form.

Please be aware that private banking is not always the best option, both financially and in terms of other considerations. To determine if private banking is the best option for you, your practitioner can assist you in weighing your options

4. What is public cord blood banking in Pakistan?

Donating a baby’s cord blood to a cord blood bank in Pakistan makes it available for transplantation to anyone in need. Potential medical applications include research using it.

Keep in mind that stem cells found in cord blood have the potential to cure a wide variety of illnesses; in fact, the stem cells taken from your baby’s cord blood could end up saving the life of someone else. For that reason, public donation is strongly encouraged by the majority of major medical organisations, such as the AAP and ACOG.

Public cord blood banks cover the costs of collecting and storing donated cord blood, which is free of charge to the donor. Donating cord blood from a baby gives the parents no legal claim to the blood; instead, it becomes the property of the bank. This means that the family may not have access to the blood in the future if they require it.

Looking for a public bank might not require as much research as looking for a private one. Giving birth at a hospital that has an official partnership with the National Marrow Donor Programme is the most convenient way to donate publicly. (Have the You are able to access a database maintained by The Match. If you want to know which hospitals are participating, you can find a list of them in the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation.

Certain eligibility requirements must be met by public donors. Donating is a viable option for healthy women expecting a single child, not twins or more than one. Take a look at these donor guidelines to discover more.

5. Public vs. private cord blood banking in Pakistan: What’s the difference?

You should learn the ins and outs of both public and private banking before making a final decision. Some things to think about are these:

5.1. Advantages of private cord blood banking in Pakistan

  • Your family is the only one for whom cord blood is stored.
  • Donating cord blood could be a lifesaver for a loved one undergoing a stem cell transplant.
  • Your unborn child’s cord blood could one day be used to treat medical conditions.
  • Cord blood that has been properly frozen and stored may have a lifetime of use, though this is uncertain.

5.2.  Drawbacks of private cord blood banking in Pakistan

  • The payment processing fee ranges from about £1,350 to £2,300.
  • You can expect to pay between  £100 and £175 per year for storage.
  • It is highly unlikely that the cord blood will be used for a stem cell transplant unless someone in your family is in immediate need of one.
  • Another place to keep your cord blood could be necessary if your current bank goes out of business.

5.3. Recipients of public cord blood in Pakistan

  • Stem cell donations have the potential to aid life-saving medical research or even save the life of a stranger.
  • There is no cost to donate, and there is a possibility that a public bank affiliated with the hospital where you intend to give birth accepts donations.

5.4. The pros and cons of public cord blood banking in Pakistan

  • Donated cord blood cannot be stored for future use by your family because you do not own it.
  • Donors must fulfil specific criteria in order to be considered.
  • If your local public bank isn’t affiliated with your hospital, or if your hospital doesn’t work with any public banks at all, donating may be more challenging.

6. How much does cord blood banking in Pakistan cost?

In the Future Health packages available are:

 Standard (cord blood only) £1875 + £625 per year

Premium (cord blood & cord tissue) £2175 + £625 per year

Premium+ (cord blood & cord tissue, outlook screeing) £2475 + £625 per year

In the UK, the Cells4Life packages available are:

 Silver (cord blood only) £1600 + £70 per year

Gold (cord blood & cord tissue) £2250 + £110 per year

Platinum (cord blood & cord tissue, multiple samples and locations) £3550 + £110 per year

ULTIMATE (cord blood & cord tissue, amnion & placenta cells, multiple samples and locations & BabyInsight) £6335 + £220 per year.

7. What are the benefits of cord blood banking in Pakistan?

In contrast to most other cells in the body, the hematopoietic stem cells present in cord blood have the unique ability to divide and multiply. Bone marrow is home to these potent stem cells as well, which have the potential to differentiate into various cells of the immune system and blood.

A patient requiring a stem cell transplant may find relief with hemotopoietic stem cells. Which method of cord blood banking in Pakistan you choose will determine how the cells are used.

8. What is cord blood banking in Pakistan used for?

Over eighty diseases have found a way to be treated with cord blood stem cells. Leukaemia and lymphoma are among the most common cancers treated with them.

  • Immunodeficiencies, such as HIV in extremely unusual instances • Anaemia and sickle cell disease
  • Conditions involving metabolism, such as Gaucher disease • Additional conditions involving the immune system, blood, and neurological systems

Radiation and chemotherapy are necessary for the treatment of many of these diseases, but they are toxic to both healthy and harmful cells. Patients receiving those treatments may benefit from the production of new blood cells brought about by transplanting cord blood stem cells.

Compared to bone marrow stem cells, cord blood stem cells have the advantages of being easier to harvest, having a longer storage life, and being more broadly transplantable. Additionally, compared to bone marrow stem cells, they are superior at enhancing the immune system of transplant recipients.

Just because your child has cord blood saved doesn’t mean she will likely ever be able to use it. (Someplace around one in 2,700 is the odds.) Since the mutations that cause a disorder are usually present at birth, a baby’s own cord blood cells might not be able to treat any condition that develops later on.

More so, there’s little hope of being able to treat an adult relative with your baby’s cord blood. That’s due to the fact that stem cell counts in stored cord blood units are typically insufficient to treat patients over 90 pounds. The number of people who could benefit from donating your baby’s cord blood increases when you give it to a public bank.

9. How is cord blood collected?

It is best to consult with your doctor about collecting your baby’s cord blood well in advance of the delivery, but it is possible to do so right after the birth. The whole process, from start to finish, takes no more than five to ten minutes.

A member of the medical staff will use a needle to extract blood from the umbilical cord vein after clamping and cutting the cord. After collection, the blood is transported in a bag for subsequent processing, freezing, and storage.

10. Questions to ask your doctor about cord blood banking in Pakistan

Discussing the possibility of cord blood banking in Pakistan with your doctor during the second trimester is ideal. By doing so, you’ll give yourself a lot of time to think about it and figure out what to do.

You could begin by mentioning that you and your partner are considering banking your baby’s cord blood. We need to know what’s involved, so can we talk about it? Is it possible for us to participate in Pakistan’s public cord blood banking programme? Some households aren’t. To find out if any limitations apply to you, consult your doctor. You still have the option of storing your baby’s cord blood with a private bank if they do.

Will you be accepting our baby’s cord blood donation? A doctor or midwife who is unwilling to do this procedure is extremely unusual, but it does happen. (Although you might not know it, some hospitals actually manage the collection.)

  • Is cord blood collected by the hospital where the baby will be born? Collecting and distributing cord blood is a shared service that many hospitals have arranged with public banks. If that isn’t possible, the same process as private storage—using a mail-in collection kit—is likely still an option for donating your baby’s cord blood.

Is collecting cord blood an expense? Both public and private storage fall under this category.

The decision to bank your cord blood in Pakistan is deeply personal and should be made by you, your family, and your practitioner. You will be able to make the right decision for yourself if you arm yourself with knowledge and prepare thoroughly.

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