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Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking

If cord-blood banking is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well for one it’s expensive and it isn’t a routine hospital procedure. It is something you have to choose and plan for ahead of time. You need to be sure you consider your decision carefully before delivery day. Here are some pros and cons to help with your decision making.

the-pros-and-cons-of-cord-blood-banking.jpgFamily banks provide payment plans and gift registries to make cord blood banking affordable for more families. Many family banks also offer free cord blood processing and storage to families with an existing medical need. The price range can be anywhere from $1500 to $2000 dollars to cover the collection and storage of the baby’s cord blood. The private medical courier fee is $100 to $200 and that covers the transportation of the baby’s cord blood from the birthing room to the bank’s lab. Yearly storage fees range anywhere from $125 to $200 and they cover the maintenance and storage of the baby’s cord blood. On the plus side, a lot of cord-blood banks offer payment plans.

The biggest reason parents consider cord-blood banking for their newborn is because they may have a family medical history of diseases that can be treated bone marrow transplants. Cord blood would be handy to have on tap to prevent having to look for a matching donor for a bone marrow transplant.

The risks to the mother’s health or the baby’s at the time of collection are low, but nonexistent. If the umbilical cord is clamped too soon after the baby’s birth it could possibly increase the amount of blood that is collected but it could also cause the baby to have a lower blood volume and possibly have anemia soon after birth.

Is cord-blood banking right for you? As you evaluate the reasons for banking cord blood and begin to research cord-blood bank facilities, there are things that need to be considered and cautions to keep in mind.

It is important to note that the AAP guidelines issued in January 2007 are based on outdated statistics and do not recognized the tenant of informed choice – that expectant parents should be informed of all their cord blood preservation options in order to make the best decision for their family. In more recent guidelines issued in January 2008, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recognized the value of cord blood stem cells and encouraged health care providers to educate expectant parents on their options for preserving them. Parents of children of ethnic or racial minorities are especially encouraged to bank cord blood because it is statistically harder to find a match for those children.

Other doctors and researchers suggest saving umbilical cord blood from every delivery — mainly because they feel stem-cell research is key for possible cures for various diseases in the future. The odds of needing stem cells are much higher than previously thought. In the United States, the lifetime probability (up to age 70) that an individual will undergo an autologous transplant (using his or her own stem cells) is 1 in 435; the lifetime probability to undergo an allogeneic transplant (using donor cells including those from a sibling) is 1 in 400; and the overall odds of undergoing any stem cell transplant is 1 in 217. This doesn’t account for future advances in regenerative medicine.

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2 Comments on "Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking"

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7 years 17 days ago

I am very excited to say that I reccently celebrated the 20th anniversary of my cord blood transplant. I am very blessed to have accomplished this amazing milestone in my life! I encourage ALL families to save there babies cord blood. After all there are no good reasons not to save it! June, doctors do not get paid for this procedure! Save the cord, save a life!

June Connell
7 years 7 months ago

Do doctors who perform this procedure get paid for doing so? How much and by whom?

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