Cord Blood Banking – Everything you need to know

What Is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord Blood Banking Pros And Cons

Private Cord Blood Bank vs. Public Cord Blood Bank

How Much Is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord Blood Banking Pros And Cons

Cord blood banking has some advantages and disadvantages too. Let me list them for you.

Pros Of Cord Blood Banking

1. The Procedure Is Easy

It is not like other medical procedures. It is painless and easy. It hardly takes few minutes to collect cord blood after the umbilical cord is been cut. Hence, there wouldn’t be any pain for both mother and baby. Also, the delayed cord blood clamping doesn’t affect the collection procedure.

2. It Saves Lives

Since cord blood is a great source of stem cells, they help in treating diseases like leukemia, some cancer types, metabolic disorders and sickle-cell anemia.

3. Compatibility

Stem cells coming from the umbilical cord blood are usually less mature than the ones acquired from an adult donor. Therefore, transplanting into a recipient is frequently successful. Moreover, the peril of body rejecting the transplanted or resettled cells is rare because the receiver is more likely to make use of his or her cells.

4. Helps In Future Medical Processes

Researchers are still examining about different ways of treating other diseases using cord blood. If they are successful with their outcomes, we would soon be able to diagnose other harmful disorders too. For example, in Duke University, scientists have used a patient’s cord blood for clinical trials on Cerebral palsy & Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (this is a condition where the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen). The trials are still under investigation in Sutter Neuroscience Institute at Sacramento (California) to know if it could treat autism or not.

5. The Freshness Remains As Such

Umbilical cord is the richest source of one’s stem cells. Yes, it is 100% possible to obtain stem cells from a person’s bone marrow. However, collecting it from the umbilical cord is less painful & much easier. Also, the stem cells will be as fresh as they were once frozen.

6. Cord Blood Can Be Accessed Always

You will have the rights to use your cord blood anytime. Only if you have stored it in a cord blood bank. Now, there are 2 cases over here. If you preserve it in a private bank, then this blood is kept for your family alone, and no one else has the rights to use or access it. However, if you preserve it in a public bank, then someone, who is in need can use it, given that the cord blood of theirs and yours must be compatible. With a public bank, there isn’t a guarantee that the cord blood will be available when you are in need of it.

Cons Of Cord Blood Banking

1. It Is Not Cheap

Even though you can donate cord blood free at a public bank but a private bank charges a lot. It is somewhere between $1400 and $2300 for just collecting, testing, registering along with an additional annual fee of $95 – $150 for storing. Often high costs make parents step back from the decision of storing cord blood.

2. Cord Blood Cannot Treat Everything

Stem cell therapy fails to cure everything. A baby’s stem cells will not be helpful if he or she has genetic diseases (because stem cells contain the same genes). According to doctors, a baby born with genetic conditions like spina bifida or muscular dystrophy will have the same on his or her stem cells as well. However, if the donor of cord blood is healthy & there is a family member or a sibling who has the same genetic condition, then cord blood may be an ideal match.

3. Your Child Might Never Want It

When it comes to cord blood banking cons, this is something I would like to write. Yes, stem cells are used for treating a wide range of disorders but according to Frances Verter, director and founder of Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, says that there are fewer chances your kid will need it.

Even if there is a chance, it will be 1 in 217. Possibilities are that your kid will never need a transplant of stem cell with cord blood in his or her lifetime. It is especially true when the child does not have a history of health problems in his or her family like lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and leukemia.

Even though AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) claims that cord blood is very helpful in treating few diseases successfully but there is no strong evidence supporting cord blood banking. Moreover, if a family still decides to bank the cord blood, AAP recommends going with the public bank rather than private so that it doesn’t cost high.

4. Most Cord Blood Stored Is Discarded

If you choose a public cord blood bank, you are more likely not to find when you are in need because they often use it for others. Perhaps, using it to aid a sick kid or use it for stem cell study. On the other hand, if you prefer a private cord blood bank, eventually they throw away or discard the blood, which a family doesn’t want to use or store further.

5. It Cannot Treat Everyone

Usually, cord blood is used only to treat few diseases in kids. Only three to five ounces is taken from the cord. Since the cord blood involves limited stem cells count, there isn’t sufficient quantity to treat adults.

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