Cord blood banking is a topic that has been gaining traction in recent years, and for good reason. This practice offers a wealth of potential benefits, but it also requires some research to make an informed decision for your family.
In this article, we will delve into the world of cord blood banking, exploring what it is, the types of cord blood banks available, and the pros and cons associated with this medical endeavor.
We will also discuss whether cord blood banking is right for you, how to choose the right cord blood bank and introduce you to MiracleCord, a leading player in the field.
What Is Cord Blood Banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing the blood found in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. This blood is rich in stem cells, which have the remarkable ability to develop into various types of blood cells and tissues, making it a valuable resource for medical treatments.
Stem cells from cord blood can be used in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including certain cancers, blood disorders, metabolic disorders, immune system disorders, and genetic conditions. Cord blood banking allows parents to store these precious cells for potential future use by their child or family members.
Types of Cord Blood Banks
Before deciding on cord blood banking, it's important to understand the two types of cord blood banks that are available.
Public Cord Blood Banks
Public cord blood banks are non-profit organizations that collect and store cord blood donations. These banks make cord blood units available for purchase to people who are in need of a stem cell transplant, if they have a suitable match in their bank. Donating to a public cord blood bank is an act that can potentially save the life of a stranger.
The downside of public banks is that 80% of all publicly donated cord blood samples are discarded and not stored for future transplantation [*]. As such, looking for a match in a public cord blood bank requires an exhaustive search, and oftentimes results in no match being available. If a match can be found, the average cost to purchase a stem cell unit from a public bank is over $50,000.
Private Cord Blood Banks
Private cord blood banks, on the other hand, store cord blood units for the exclusive use of the donating family. This service allows families to ensure that they have immediate access to the cord blood stem cells should the need arise. It offers peace of mind and control over the use of these valuable stem cells for family members.
Cord Blood Banking Pros and Cons
Now that we've explored the types of cord blood banks, let's dive into the pros and cons of private cord blood banking:
1. Medical Benefits
One of the most significant advantages of cord blood banking is the potential medical benefits it offers. Stem cells from cord blood have been used to treat 85,000 patients for the treatment of more than 80 FDA-approved therapies, including leukemia, lymphoma, anemias, immune system disorders, and certain genetic disorders. The regenerative properties of these cells make them a valuable resource in the field of medicine.
2. Family Health Security
Private cord blood banking provides families with a sense of security. By storing cord blood, parents can ensure that their child has a potential lifeline in the event of a health crisis. This peace of mind can be priceless, knowing that a potentially life-saving resource is readily available.
Stem cells from cord blood will be a perfect genetic match for the child that they come from, and they are a high probability of a suitable match for immediate family members of that child. This significantly increases the chances of successful transplantation.
4. Future Advances in Medicine
The field of regenerative medicine is rapidly advancing. Stem cells from cord blood may play a pivotal role in the development of additional cutting-edge treatments for conditions that are currently untreatable. By storing cord blood, you're investing in the future health of your child and family.
Private cord blood banking can be difficult to afford because the timing coincides with the many other expenses related to the birth of your newborn. It's important to carefully consider your options when deciding which private cord blood bank you want to go with, as some offer a better value than others.
2. May Not Be Used
While the medical benefits of cord blood banking have been proven, there is no guarantee that you will ever need to use the stored cord blood. That said, with over 80 therapies already approved by the FDA, and more than 700 clinical trials initiated, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 people in the United States may benefit from regenerative medicine therapy with stem cells.
3. Limited Quantity
Cord blood contains a finite number of stem cells. This means that it may not be sufficient for all potential treatments or for use by multiple family members.
Is Cord Blood Banking Right for You?
Determining whether cord blood banking is right for you is a personal decision. It depends on various factors, including your family's medical history, financial situation, and your desire for added security.
How to Choose a Cord Blood Bank
If you decide that cord blood banking is right for you, selecting the right cord blood bank is crucial. Here are some essential considerations when making your choice:
Accreditation: Ensure that the cord blood bank’s laboratory is accredited by the AABB and registered with the FDA. These accreditation demonstrate a commitment to quality and ethical standards.
Experience: Look for a cord blood bank with a proven track record. Established banks often have more experience and a well-documented history of successful stem cell transplants.
Storage and Processing: Inquire about the cord blood bank's storage and processing methods. They should have state-of-the-art facilities and protocols to maintain the quality and viability of stored cord blood.
Transplant Success Rates: It's essential to know the bank's success rates with stem cell transplants. A higher success rate indicates the bank's effectiveness in providing quality stem cells for transplant.
Pricing: Thoroughly review the pricing, including annual fees and conditions for releasing the cord blood. Make sure you understand all financial aspects before making a commitment.
Reputation: Ask your friends about their experience with the company they chose, or read Google Reviews. Beware: Some sites, like Consumer Affairs, are paid by the cord blood bank to post reviews that they solicit. Rely on real reviews, and your gut feeling when talking to different companies about their services.
Medical Courier: Ask the company you are considering if their courier is using FedEx or UPS for any part of the transport, or if they include a medical courier service that will ship your baby’s cord blood next flight out directly to the lab. Stem cells are precious and should be treated with priority.
MiracleCord is a reputable cord blood bank that meets these important considerations. With nearly two decades of experience and a commitment to excellence, MiracleCord offers secure storage and state-of-the-art processing facilities to ensure the quality of your stored cord blood. Their transparent pricing and commitment to customer service make them a top choice for many families.
The Bottom Line
Cord blood banking has some pros and cons, and whether it's right for you depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. The medical benefits, family security, and potential for future advances in medicine make it an appealing option.
If you decide to proceed with cord blood banking, carefully research and select a reputable bank like MiracleCord, which meets essential criteria for safe and effective cord blood processing and storage. Ultimately, the decision should be based on an understanding of the potential benefits, as well as your family's unique needs and circumstances.
Ready to secure your family's future health? Contact MiracleCord today at 888.743.2673 for a consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your loved ones' well-being.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.The materials and information contained on the MiracleCord website is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended to, and does not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis, and should not be used as such. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. If you are seeking personal medical advice, you should consult with a licensed physician. Always consult with a qualified health care provider regarding a medical condition.