What is umbilical cord blood banking?
Blood from a newborns umbilical cord, once considered a waste product that was routinely discarded along with the placenta, is now considered to contain potentially life-saving stem cells, including hematopoietic cells (blood forming), which can be used to treat some hematopoietic and genetic disorders.
The use of cord blood stem cells has been used in treating more than 70 diseases from various types of cancer of the blood to immune system disorders. Leading clinical trials worldwide are utilizing cord blood transplants for a number of conditions, including: Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic brain injury and strokes, Diabetes (type 1), Cardiac disease and Autism. However, the chance that cord blood stems cells will be needed to potentially treat your child or relative is very low.
Public Cord Blood Banks operate like blood banks. The stem cells in the donated cord blood can be used by any person who “matches.” The cord blood is tracked in a national cord blood database. Public cord blood banks store cord blood for the benefit of the general public and do not charge to collect cord blood.
Private Cord Blood Banks store cord blood for “directed donation.” The blood is held for personal use in treating your baby or relatives. Private banks most often charge a collecting fee and a yearly fee for storage.
For more information and lists of other private cord blood banks can also be found online at parentsguidecordblood.org