Frequently Asked Questions about Cord Blood Banking
The subject of cord blood banking is one that people are confused about. Parents need to know all it takes to bank cord blood and the options available. Private cord blood banking is being touted by many as a biological insurance, but again it might not be for every parent and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns parents against making uneducated decisions.
There are situations that would compel a family to consider banking cord blood for private use for example, if there is a sibling or older child that has an inherited disorder treatable using cord blood stem cells, or if there is a history of having such disorders. If there is a member of the family having a disease that can be treated with use of cord blood, then it may be an option to bank the blood for personal or family use.
Otherwise, the other option is public banking that does not guarantee that you will access the blood in future, and if you do, it will be at a hefty cost. But public cord blood banking serves to help other people in need of stem cell transplants. These frequently asked questions about cord blood may help you understand the concept much better:
Where can I find a private cord blood bank?
You may look for a bank that’s near you or you may talk to your midwife or doctor to offer you recommendations. The American Association of Blood Bankers (AABB) has a list comprising accredited private banks that can bank your infant’s cord blood. However, you should realize that there are other factors to consider including cord blood banking costs and the quality of standards they have to ensure the blood will be viable for use in the long term.5
Can I access the cord blood I donated to a public bank?
When you donate cord blood, there are consent forms that you have to sign. You need to read the fine print and ask all the questions. While you can access the cord blood from a public bank, chances aren’t always there. It could have been used by another recipient so it may not be available. If you happen to find that it is still in the cord blood donor registry, you have to meet the cost of obtaining it back, which may be too high. If you have concerns that you or your family member or even the child and siblings may need to use cord blood, a better option it to consider private banking.
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