Parents who are expecting a baby have several big decisions to make. One of the big decisions is what to do with their newborn’s cord blood. A hot commodity, cord blood is taken from a baby’s umbilical cord shortly after birth. The blood is rich in stem cells that can be used to treat multiple disorders. Parents have the option to store it in a private cord blood bank, donate it or discard it. Private cord blood banks charge a fee to parents who want to store cord blood with them if the blood will be needed for future use. However, for public cord blood banks, parents are allowed to donate their child’s cord blood for free.
Umbilical Stem Cells
The collection and storage of platelet rich plasma and the stem cells from your baby’s umbilical cord could save the life of your newborn down the line. Umbilical cord tissue is set to become a critical component for treatment of many ailments in the future that have been a mystique in the health industry for a long time. Cord blood and stem cell transplants have saved and changed the lives of millions of people around the globe. New parents now have the opportunity to be responsible for the future health of their child by banking umbilical stem cells and blood. The storage of these cells in a blood bank could potentially save the lives of family members in the future as well.
It is encouraging to look at the studies made on the effects of umbilical stem cells on many disorders. Researchers are looking at the use of stem cells to treat Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, and HIV. The need for saving your baby’s cord blood has greatly increased than ever before due to this research. You can provide your child with protection for possible treatments in the future by using a private blood bank to store his or her cord blood and tissue.
Cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat numerous diseases. The diseases include anemia, multiple types of malignancies, immune system deficiencies and inherited metabolic disorders. Cord blood stem cells are the best shot that parents have to invest in the future health of their kid because they remain to be a perfect match for the newborn child. For more than five decades now, blood stem cell transplants have been the remedy for blood cancer and other blood disorders.
Sharing Umbilical Cord Blood
Storing your baby’s cord blood in a private cord blood bank can be an expensive affair. The initial processing fees can be between $500 and $2500. The fee is dependent on the private blood bank, whether you are storing cord tissue, cord blood or both and the current promotions. Annual charges may average between $100 and $300 every year and after that. These charges are already high taking into consideration that during the first year of a baby, middle-class parents spend $12,940. The $12,940 estimate was done by USDA and does not include the cost of starting a college savings fund or the cost of giving birth.
If the client already has a family member who may potentially benefit from the banked cells, private cord blood banks may waive some or all of the fees. Private Banks vary, but they use standard criteria of qualifying for the waiver. According to doctors, there is a good reason for using the services of a cord blood bank for their baby’s cord blood stem cells. 90% of cord blood is discarded shortly after birth to this day.
Recommendations for Donating Umbilical Cord
Some medical groups have issued opinions and policy statements regarding the banking of cord blood. These groups include the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association, the ASBMT and the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. The groups made a recommendation that parents should use public bank donation over private cord blood banks. The groups gave the reason that cord blood’s applications are limited.
However, according to ASBMT, the chance that a baby would later benefit from his or her cord blood is currently less than 0.04 percent. The main reason behind the low probability of use is that the diseases that are presently treated with cord blood are rare. Moreover, the stem cells have the same genetic disorders as the child rendering the cord blood stem cells unusable. The AAP policy statement states that it would be unrealistic to consider cord blood banking a biological insurance. The chances of finding a match among donation are higher for patients. Between 66% and 97% of patients can find a match among donated cord blood units. The percentages were given by a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014.
There is also the chance that the baby’s cord blood could be a match for an afflicted member of the family now or in days to come. Although the chance of using it is not also high, research by Cornell medical college says that it is within reasonable odds. Parents should also consider future use. Research is currently underway to determine whether cord blood could be useful in treating conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and other ailments. Advancements in research could make banking a more viable option for those who want to use the cord blood in the future rather than currently.
Assess the Donation Bank
Parents should also assess the bank, whether storing the blood privately or donating it to a public cord blood bank. It is critical that samples are handled very carefully to maintain potency. Parents should ask for the collection procedure, transport, and storage. It is also important to find out whether the blood is screened for defects before banking. Check to find out whether the cord blood bank has the necessary accreditation. Accreditation ensures that the banks meet very high voluntary standards regarding their procedures, personnel and their facility in general.
It is important to note that donating or storing your baby’s cord blood is not always an option. It is a requirement by some private banks that you notify them in advance for them to send a collection kit. Moreover, public banks do not collect cord blood from all hospitals. The amount of blood collected can also be limited by the circumstances of birth as doctors and nurses focus more on the baby.