We hear about stem cells in the news and media but do we really understand what this means for us, our families and for our health in the future? All too often stem cells are described as something that has the ‘potential’ for treatment. Many people are surprised to learn that stem cells have been successfully used to treat illnesses for many years and with advances in technology will bring even more hope to families worldwide. Parents-to-be have a unique opportunity to understand more about stem cells ahead of the birth of their child and consider storing these valuable cells from their baby’s umbilical cord blood and cord tissue.
A little about us – Smart Cells International is UK’s first private cord blood bank and over the last 15 years since the company was founded, we have released more samples to patients all over the world than any other private company in the UK. The samples released have been used to treat a variety of conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Thalassemia, Leukaemia, Sickle Cell and HSV Encephalitis.
What are Stem Cells and how do we collect them?
Stem cells are biological cells found in the body and are often referred to as ‘master’ cells because they have the ability to differentiate into many different types of cells. Watch the video below for an overview by Professor Mark Johnson at Imperial College London and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
The umbilical cord provides a very valuable source of these cells which if required can help in treating the child and possibly siblings and parents.
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is born, both of which are usually thrown away after the birth. As this is a rich source of stem cells it can be collected, processed and then stored using cryopreservation for potential treatment. The collection takes place at the time of birth and is performed by a trained healthcare professional organised by Smart Cells. The collection does not interfere with the birth as it takes place once the baby and the placenta have been delivered.
Smart Cells have now released 16 samples of stem cells for clinical use, in fact we have seen more samples released in the last 3 years than we did in our first 12 years. This significant milestone for the private cord blood storage industry highlights the advances being made in stem cell research and puts a spotlight on a service that many parents-to-be are still unaware of.
One of the samples released for treatment in 2014 was for the Poppleton family, whose baby daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and treated using her own umbilical cord blood stem cells .
“The medical world is evolving so quickly. It’s possibly the best investment you could make for your child’s future” Kyle & Carla Poppleton. Read their story here
We believe that storing a child’s stem cells at birth can be a crucial part of curing an unexpected illness and in the future this service should be available to every family. Pregnancy and starting a family are full of special moments that you don’t want to miss.
To learn more about storing your baby’s stem cells please contact Smart Cells today on 01895 424430 or request a brochure for more information.