Umbilical cord blood banking has been a new topic for the media and public. Science has shown there are copious benefits and a few drawbacks with the use of cord blood. One of these drawbacks is the cost of cord blood banking. If insurance companies were to be mandated to cover cord blood banking, then more people could reap in the benefits of having cord blood stored.
Umbilical cord blood was formerly believed of as a waste product. Now it is known that cord blood has two types of stem cells which offer multiple treatment possibilities (Waller-Wise, 2011). Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cell can be utilized for regeneration of blood and immune system. Pluripotent stem cells have the capability to produce multiple tissue types of the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm (Einstein & Merkatz, 2008). Both types of stem cells show the ability to be adapted into the treatment of a substantial range of diseases including neurologic, cardiovascular, endocrine, orthopedic, and ophthalmic conditions (Einstein & Merkatz, 2008). Stem cells can be utilized by transplant. Four principal types of physical disease that can be treated with stem cell transplants including blood disorders, congenital metabolic disorders, immunodeficiencies, and certain cancers (Waller-Wise, 2011). Some examples of diseases are Sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs’ disease, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, certain leukemias, and many more (Waller-Wise, 2011). It is recommended that persons with family history of any of the known diseases that can be helped with stem cell transplant consider cord blood banking.
Insurance companies will need to know that funding banking of cord blood is going to have more benefits than risk. Treatment of these types of diseases is one of the benefits. Although this treatment is similar to treatment with bone marrow, there are multiple more advantages with cord blood use. The one advantage is the ease to collect the cord blood. Next, there is no risk to the mother or child because it can be obtained from the placenta (Einstein & Merkatz, 2008). There is less time necessary for processing, which means it is available sooner. There is a lesser change for to develop graft versus host disease because it is much easier to find a match (Waller-Wise, 2011). Research of stem cell technology has plentiful possibilities for future development. Emerging indications are being researched to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus and some neurologic injuries such as cerebral palsy.
With all benefits, there...