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Stem Cell Storage

Community Cord Blood Banking Emerges As A Life Saver

Written By Niyati Pandya - July 01, 2024
Read Time - 3 min read

Umbilical cord blood is a valuable source of stem cells that can be used to treat a variety of diseases. Community cord blood banking is an innovative approach to increase the availability of cord blood for patients in need. With the advancement of medical technology, cord blood banking has become an important aspect of family planning, and community cord blood banking has emerged as a lifesaver for many patients who are suffering from life-threatening diseases.

Let’s have a look at one such interesting instance where umbilical cord blood helped a little girl combat a life-threatening disease.

On November 18, 2020, India achieved a major milestone in the field of stem cell transplants with the country’s first double cord blood transplant. Community Cord Blood Banking helped save the life of a 7-year-old girl suffering from aplastic anaemia (a rare and serious blood disorder) when all other possible treatments failed.

Let’s dive deeper into the details of this groundbreaking case.

A Brief Synopsis Of The Procedure

Here’s a thorough rundown of how community cord blood banking was adopted for this case:

  • A team of senior doctors from LOTUS Institute of Haematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, successfully conducted a double unit cord blood transplant to save the life of a child from Nashik in Maharashtra.
  • This transplant was particularly challenging because there were no appropriate bone marrow donors. In addition, retrieving matching units from public cord blood banks would be extremely costly.
  • As members of LifeCell Community Bank, the parents placed a matching request for two cord blood units after the child’s sibling was found to be only a 50% (4/8) match which does not meet the donor criteria.
  • Two high-quality matches (7/8) were found in the registry, which fulfilled the requirement for Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) transplantation.
  • Most importantly, the parents could withdraw these matched units at no additional expense, which otherwise would cost not less than Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.  

Pondering whether community cord blood banking was actually beneficial and the only choice in this case? Here’s some useful information that might answer your queries.

Why Community Cord Blood Banking?

In the majority of blood-related disorders treatable by transplants, patients' own stem cells are not suitable. So, a close family member like a sibling is usually considered the best donor. However, in this particular case, there was only a 50% match with the sibling and that’s why a high-quality match from an unrelated donor was crucial for a successful transplant.

While a regular stem cell transplant requires a dose of 25 million total nucleated cells (TNC) per kg of patient weight,1 for severe aplastic anaemia the recommended minimum dose is 39 million total nucleated cells (TNC) per kg 2 and that’s not easy to find. The community banking model made it possible and the child received a timely transplant with an encouraging prognosis. Just 18 days after the transplant, white blood cells were completely engrafted, and platelets and red blood cell production also increased drastically.

Community Cord Blood Banking allowed sharing of preserved umbilical cord stem cells from a common pool among the members of the community. The model offers greater and easier access to donor stem cells, unlimited retrievals at the cost of one enrollment, and a higher probability of finding a close match for potentially life-saving treatments. Community banking, thus, ensures complete protection to the child, siblings, parents, and maternal & paternal grandparents from the impact of more than 90+ disorders treatable by stem cells.

And here’s what our leader had to say about achieving such a milestone.

Elaborating on this milestone, Mr Mayur Abhaya, MD, LifeCell International said

“The purpose of Community Cord Blood Banking is to ensure easy and rapid access to stem cells for every Indian without the hurdles of public and private banking models. While stem cells from the umbilical cord blood can be procured from global public banks, the probability of finding a match for a patient of Indian origin is less than 10% because of the low inventory of available units plus the big issue of donor dropouts.

Luckily, since the family was a part of LifeCell's community banking program, they could gain quick, free access to the huge inventory of over 75,000+ qualified and consented units available at LifeCell which provides a greater than 97% probability of finding a match.” 

Also, Dr Pritesh Junagade, Director of LOTUS Hospital said that he was pleasantly surprised that the retrieval process for two cord blood units was convenient and at no additional cost to the patient as compared to other banking models. Calling it a real social service, he is now a supporter of LifeCell’s community cord blood banking and would welcome the opportunity to further advance this initiative.

Huzaifa shares his pleasant experience with LifeCell after his daughther's successul, Life-saving Double Cord Blood Tansplant

Dr Pritesh Junagade, Treating Physician, shared his views & experience on this heartwarming story

We are here to help

Your family’s healthy future is now in your hands. Become a LifeCell member and avail numerous benefits such as pocket-friendly plans, financial assistance unlimited retrievals and double the protection for your baby’s previous stem cells. If you have any further questions, we would love to hear from you!
Click Here To Speak To Our Experts

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, community cord blood banking is an innovative and life-saving solution that has emerged in recent years. It offers the opportunity for families to donate their newborns' cord blood, which can then be stored in a public cord blood bank and made available for transplantation to those in need.

LifeCell’s community cord blood banking can provide numerous benefits such as pocket-friendly plans, financial assistance, unlimited retrievals and complete protection for immediate family members like siblings, parents and grandparents from the impact of nearly 90+ conditions.

If you have any further questions on community cord blood banking, we would love to hear from you!

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