Cord Blood Storage Options

Cord blood banking is a procedure where in the blood from the umbilical cord are collected shortly after birth and then stored for future use at a blood bank.

How cord blood is collected

After a birth, naturally the newborn’s umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Obviously it does harm the newborn or the mother. Immediately after that, a doctor or health care provider will insert a needle into the newborn’s umbilical cord to collect the blood. The blood is then drained into collection bag and sent to the blood bank.

Public or Private?

Parents who opted for cord blood banking have the option to choose whether to have their child’s cord blood stored in a public or private facility.

And basically the difference is just that, the facility. Cord blood collection and storage procedures are the same. The difference is in accessibility and price.

Public cord blood bank – public cord blood banks to not charge a fee for collecting and storing your child’s cord blood. However, the use of your child’s cord blood will not be accessible to you. The bank authorities have the power to decide how to use the stored cord blood. Public stored cord bloods are either used for research or given to patients who need for stem cell transplant therapy the soonest. Thus, if you or a member of your family ever need your child’s stem cells, it is next to impossible for you to obtain it.

Private cord blood banks – private cord blood banks charge a fee for collection and storage. The upside is that your child’s cord blood will be fully accessible to you. This means that you can obtain it whenever you need it.

Many parents go for private banking option as it gives their family as sort of insurance if ever a member falls ill. To add to that, public cord blood banks are affiliated only with certain hospitals, which means that if you don’t give birth in an affiliate hospital, cord blood banking will not be available to you. Private cord blood banks on the other hand can collect cord blood in any hospital anywhere. This is because your initial fees cover the shipping and costs.

Storage or Donation?

The decision to store or donate your child’s cord blood is solely up to you. To help you decide, consider your family’s medical history. Does your family have a history of diseases such as leukemia, other types of blood or genetic disorder? Then you should consider private cord blood banking, as there is a good chance that you or a family member will develop serious diseases and require stem cell transplant treatment.

Also, people of a certain ethnic background including American Indians Alaska Natives Asians Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Hawaiians, should choose private storage because it is more difficult to find a matching donor.

Cord blood banking preparations

If you are considering cord blood banking, you should:

  • Contact a blood bank, either public or private to know more about the procedure and the services offered.
  • Let your doctor know that you are considering cord blood storage by the 34th week of your pregnancy. Talk about the procedure, eligibility criteria and ask if he can recommend a cord blood bank.
  • When choosing a cord blood bank, take the following into consideration: accreditation, financial stability, type of technology used for storage, and of course, the price (for private cord blood banks).