How to Choose the Right Cord Blood Bank for Your Family
January 19, 2023
Choosing the right cord blood bank for your family is a serious decision as it can have a lasting impact on your family's health, now and in the future. Wading through the vast amount of information available on cord blood banking can be daunting, and it is important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of this process before deciding the best fit for your family.
What is Cord Blood Banking? Cord Blood banking is the process of collecting and storing umbilical cord and placenta blood after a baby is born. This is a safe and painless process as the umbilical cord and placenta are normally disposed of as medical waste after the baby is born. This blood is rich in stem cells which can be used to treat certain serious medical conditions, including blood and immune system disorders, and many pediatric cancers.
Why Choose Cord Blood Banking? Cord Blood banking offers many potential benefits for families. Stem cells from cord blood can be used to treat medical conditions in the same individual from whom the blood was collected. This is referred to as "autologous transplant" and is particularly beneficial for those with certain genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and cystic fibrosis. Additionally, cord blood is suitable for use by close family members in the event of an emergency, such as a sibling or parent, in what is known as a "related donor transplant".
What Should I Look for When Choosing a Cord Blood Bank? When deciding on a cord blood bank, it is important to do your research. Look for a cord blood bank that has been in business for many years, offers a variety of services, and is backed by a reputable organization. It is also important to consider how the cord blood will be stored and how much the storage will cost. Additionally, look for a cord blood bank that is certified and/or accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), or the Joint Commission (JC).
What Are the Different Types of Cord Blood Banking? There are two types of cord blood banking: public and private. Public cord blood banking is free and the cord blood is stored in a public cord blood bank. The cord blood can then be used to treat any patient in need. Private cord blood banking involves collecting and storing cord blood for use only by the person from whom it was collected. Private cord blood banking is not free and is typically more expensive than public cord blood banking. However, it is the only type of cord blood banking that allows for related donor transplant, making it the preferred option for many families.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking? The potential benefits of cord blood banking include the potential use of the stem cells for autologous transplant, or the potential use of cord blood to treat a family member in the event of an emergency. The potential drawbacks of cord blood banking include the cost, which can be higher than public cord blood banking, and the fact that the cord blood may not be used. Additionally, it is important to note that cord blood banking does not guarantee that a family will be able to find a match for a related donor transplant.
In conclusion, cord blood banking can be a beneficial choice for many families. When deciding whether to pursue cord blood banking, it is important to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks. Additionally, it is important to do your research and select a reputable cord blood bank that meets your family's needs. With the right preparation and research, cord blood banking can be a valuable choice for your family.