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Background: Umbilical cord blood is whole human blood (60 to 80 ml) that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after childbirth; generally considered as a medical waste. It is a rich source of stem cells, growth factor, cytokines, etc., and, can be collected, stored and utilized in the treatment of incurable diseases.
Aims and Objects: The aim of the present study is to establish the fact that placental umbilical cord whole blood is a safe alternative to adult blood and to assess its utility in degenerative and autoimmune disease along with its hematological parameters.
Materials and Methods: It is a prospective two year study (From September 2016 to August 2018) of 250 umbilical cord whole blood transfusions in autoimmune and degenerative disorders at Gajra Raja Medical College, Gwalior, India. Follow up of patients was done up to 3 months and data was collected and analyzed statistically by frequency distribution and percentage proportion.
Results: A total of 250 units meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria were transfused to 99 preregistered patients; Vitiligo 61 (159 transfusions), Thalassemia 15 (30), Retinitis Pigmentosa 9 (23), Geriatric Disorders 9 (24), Aplastic anemia 4 (9) and High Myopia 1 (5). Out of 250 transfusions, in one case (0.4%) adverse event was reported. Outcome of transfusion reveals; In Vitiligo –regimentation in affected area, Thalassemia-reduction in frequency of transfusions, Retinitis Pigmentosa- improvement in vision area, Geriatric patients- sense of well being, Aplastic anemia- prolonged survival and High Myopia-improvement in vision area.
Conclusion: Umbilical cord blood is safe and genuine alternative of adult blood. It is effective in degenerative and autoimmune diseases. It should not be discarded as medical waste and utilized judiciously in the human well being.