In a private cord blood bank, parents pay to have their baby’s cord blood banked for her own use or use by a family member in the future. The family owns the cord blood and can make most key decisions about how it’s used. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that you only consider private cord banking if you have a family member with a genetic disease that may benefit from stem cell treatments. That’s because your baby’s cord blood may be a better match for that sick family member than a non-family donation. Families also choose to save their baby’s cord blood as a kind of health insurance. In the event that, down the line, stem cells can treat more diseases, you’ll have those genetically unique cells available to your family. So, you’ve been doing some research on the power of newborn stem cells and private cord blood banking. However, here are a few things you need to know.
Cord blood transplants have been in use for more than 25 years and if you opt for a cord blood bank, you need to plan ahead
The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 by Dr. Elaine Gluckman at St. Louis Hospital in Paris. The transplant was performed on a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder. Now, cord blood is approved to treat approximately 80 diseases.
When deciding to bank cord blood, there are medical history documents that you will need to complete before giving birth. To make the cord blood banking process a success, contact your cord blood bank of choice as early as possible. This will ensure everything is in order before your baby arrives.
There are about 30 private cord blood banks in the U.S and financial aid are available for families that choose a private cord blood bank
Private cord blood banks also known as family cord blood banks, are companies that collect, process, and store your cord blood specifically for your family, so you can access it if needed. Also, many cord blood banks offer programs that cover the cost of processing and storage if you have a sick family member that might benefit from a cord blood transplant. In addition, certain insurance companies may offer assistance if that sick individual needs to be treated with cord blood shortly.
All cord blood is screened and tested and if preserved properly, cord blood can be stored for a long time
For peace of mind, private banks require that all mothers undergo medical screening, and all cord blood is tested for infectious diseases and contamination. Cord blood is stored in a nitrogen freezer, the same technology used to store donated sperm. Studies have shown that cord blood stem cells continue to be viable even after being frozen for more than 23 years.