As the world recovers from the breathtaking display of London’s closing ceremonies, so too are athletes recovering from their participation in the 2012 Olympic Games. While some sports may be more physically demanding than others, all athletes are put under tremendous mental and physical pressure, and even the best trained, most hardened athletes need to take time to heal their bodies after competing at the world’s highest level. Even Kerri Walsh, who won her 3rd Olympic beach volleyball gold and became one of the most dominant Olympic athletes along with perennial teammate Misty May-Trainer, took to Twitter immediately post-match, uploading images of herself soaking in an ice bath to help her body heal.
Many athletes take traditional approaches like Kerri, but as science and technology continue to progress, athletes are venturing into more unconventional methods like stem cell treatments, cryo chambers, and acupuncture:
Everything you and your doctor need for a successful collection is provided in your Viacord kit. We’ve got a few tips to share to ensure the process goes smoothly.
1. LET THE STAFF KNOW UPON ARRIVAL Letting the medical staff know you’ve chosen to collect your baby’s cord blood or cord tissue, or both is an important first step in the cord blood collection process. Even if it’s noted in your files, telling the staff at the hospital of exactly what you’ve ordered will ensure everyone’s in the know. And if medical staff shift rotation takes place during your time in labor, inform the replacement staff as well. Keeping everyone in the know is the way to go!
2. COLLECT EVEN WITH A C-SECTION When moms go in for a c-section, whether it’s planned or unplanned, sometimes the collection kit gets left behind. Make sure it’s known that you want to collect your cord blood or cord tissue or both – whichever you ordered, so the medical staff will make sure the kit is in the c-section room. ViaCord’s sterile collection bag is FDA approved and can be used in c-sections..
MSCs provide new hope to patients with debilitating diseases Patients with liver fibrosis, lung cancer, Parkinson’s and other complex diseases have limited treatment options today, so opening new avenues for treatment is important. The unique ability MSCs have to repair damaged cartilage, muscle and tissue suggests their potential in medical applications. As a result, a significant amount of research is underway to better understand this potential. Below are findings from some of the pre-clinical studies using MSCs extracted from cord tissue: Continue reading →
The Value of Newborn Genetic Screening Preparing for parenthood can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Wondering what life will be like once your little one arrives is fun to do, but it can also be intimidating. The unknown can be the most terrifying part of becoming a parent, but there are some measures in place to help parents take a little of the unknown out of their child’s future. One measure is newborn genetic screening.
Newborn genetic screening is a panel of tests that identifies your child’s risk for inherited genetic and metabolic disorders. Early detection of these disorders is important because babies may not show obvious signs that they have an inherited disorder until after more serious symptoms have developed. Early identification can give your physician the opportunity to start specialized medical treatment and intervention that may improve your baby’s long-term health.
Forget the rocking chair and bridge club; today’s grandparents are more active than ever and are playing an increasingly important part in today’s family life. They represent more than the Sunday afternoon visit. Today, grandparents often provide regular childcare as well as emotional and financial support to their grandchildren and their families.
But even with today’s more engaged generation, some grandparents still feel they want to help out but don’t know how, as ViaCord’s communications expert and best-selling author, Laurie Puhn, points out in her ExpectingWords.com blog. One way ViaCord is seeing grandparents get involved is by helping mom and dad with the decision to bank their baby’s cord blood. Not too surprising seeing as today’s grands are acutely aware of the importance of good health and the significant advancements being made in medicine today.
Today, cord blood stem cells can be used to treat nearly 80 life-threatening diseases and are offering new hope to families affected by conditions that only years ago had no stem cell treatment options. A couple of the most exciting possibilities of cord blood stem cells lies in clinical trials now being conducted to determine whether a child’s own cord blood stem cells may be used to treat cerebral palsy and Type 1 Diabetes.
Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is a general term used to describe a group of neurological disorders that appear in early childhood and permanently affect muscle coordination and body movement. It is most often caused by brain injury or Continue reading →
Public and physician education around stem cells and cord blood banking is woefully inadequate. Many do not know what options are available to them, public or family banking. The Institute of Medicine and cord blood legislation in approximately 20 states call for Ob-GYNs to educate expecting families on the options for their newborn’s cord blood stem cells. Leaders in stem cell science, such as ViaCord, have a responsibility to bridge this gap by working with OB/GYNs who are the best source of information on cord blood banking. Moreover, education is a collective job for the entire industry, including family banks, public banks, research institutions and the medical community.
When considering options for your newborn’s cord blood, it’s important to understand the following: Continue reading →
Early diagnostics reduce healthcare costs; improve quality of life
Recently, PerkinElmer CEO Robert Friel was interviewed on FOX Business News to discuss the state of the nation’s healthcare—and how the global life sciences company is doing its part to ensure a healthier future for all. The parent company of ViaCord, PerkinElmer designs and delivers advanced technology solutions that address the world’s most critical health and safety concerns. For example, PerkinElmer is the leading worldwide provider of neonatal screening systems that have helped identify more than 100,000 newborns at risk of inherited metabolic disorders.
In the FOX interview, Mr. Friel stressed the importance of early diagnostics in keeping health care costs down and improving quality of life. For instance, by opting into newborn screening programs for early detection of health threats, parents may be able to help their child receive therapeutic intervention earlier, leading to a more successful outcome. There is often a positive financial outcome as well—early awareness and intervention can help families avoid costly procedures further down the line and improve quality of life, which also reduces costs for employers, insurers and healthcare institutions.
In the United States, while there is much debate about healthcare reform, we can all agree on one thing: everyone benefits from controlling the costs of healthcare while creating more successful outcomes. For ViaCord and PerkinElmer, we believe in providing healthcare options for the better—options that can help families be better informed, better aware, and better protected.
In the past 12 months, cord blood once again made many medical advances. Today, the list of diseases that can be treated with cord blood includes over 80 diseases. If you are a parent who has stored cord blood stem cells for your child(ren) or are considering storing cord blood in the future, there is even more exciting news. This past year gave rise to a significant amount of research into cord blood stem cells as a regenerative therapy, positioning it as a possible viable treatment for a variety of autoimmune, neurological, and metabolic disorders, diseases and injuries.
As a result, the number of cord blood units released by ViaCord for medical application grew significantly. By year end, more than 175 units total had been released. Of the 43 units released in 2009, 74% of them were used to treat patients participating in clinical research.
A recent news report from an ABC news affiliate highlighted some of the recent medical advancements being made using cord blood as a regenerative therapy.