Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placentafollowing birth. It is blood that is usually discarded. Cord blood bankingutilizes external facilities as a place to store and preserve a baby’scord blood. When considering storing your baby’s cord blood, it is importantto use a cord blood bank accredited by the American Association of BloodBanks (AABB), like Viacord. For informationabout cord blood banking you may call Viacord toll-free at 1-866-384-0476.
Why would I store my baby’s blood in a cord blood bank?
The cord blood of your baby is an abundant source of stem cells which aregenetically related to your baby and your family. The stem cells are dominantcells in the way that they contribute to the development of all tissues,organs, and systems in the body.
Stem cells are able to transform into other types of cells in the bodyto create new growth and development. They are the building block of theimmune system. The transformation of these cells provides physicians witha way to treat leukemia and some inherited health disorders (Morediseases and conditions treated by stem cells). Cord blood stem cellshave similar ability to treat disease as bone marrow but with significantlyless rejection.
Banking a baby’s blood and stem cells in a cord bloodbank is a type of insurance. Ideally, you will not need to access your baby’sstem cells in order to address a medical problem. But using a cord bloodbank can provide peace of mind knowing that you have a valuable resourceif you need it. The stem cells from your baby’s cord blood may beeffective in treating certain diseases or conditions of a parent or sibling.
How is cord blood collected?
The cord blood collection process is simple, safe, and painless. The processusually takes no longer than five minutes. Cord blood collection does notinterfere with delivery and is possible with both vaginal and cesarean deliveries.Your health care provider will use either the syringe method or bag methodfor collecting the blood:
- Syringe method: a syringe is used todraw blood from the umbilical cord shortly after the umbilical cord hasbeen cut. The process is similar to drawing blood for a regular bloodtest.
- Bag method: the umbilical cord is elevatedto drain the blood into a bag.
The syringe or bag should be pre-labeled with a unique number that identifiesyour baby. Cord blood may only be collected during the first 15 minutesfollowing the birth, and should be processed by the laboratory within 48hours of collection.
What happens to the cord blood once it has been collected?
The baby’s cord blood will be processed and stored in a laboratoryfacility, often referred to as a blood bank. The cord blood should be processedand stored in a facility that is accredited by the American Associationof Blood Banks (AABB) for the purpose of handling stem cells.
What are the health risks to the mother or to the baby?
There are no health risks related to cord blood collection. Cord bloodis retrieved from the umbilical cord after it has been cut thus preventingany pain, discomfort, or harm. Cord blood collection is totally safe.
How much does cord blood banking cost?
There are usually two fees involved in cord blood banking. The first isthe initial fee which covers enrollment, collection and storage for at leastthe first year. The second is an annual storage fee. Some facilities varythe initial fee based upon the length of a predetermined period of storage.
Depending on the predetermined period of storage, the initial fee can rangefrom $900 to $2100. Annual storage fees after the initial storage fee areapproximately $100.
It is common for storage facilities to offer prepaid plans at a discountand payment plans to help make the initial storage a more attractive optionfor you and your family.
What if I do not want to store the cord blood?
Your baby’s cord blood could be a valuable resource for another family.From foundations to non-profit blood banks and medical facilities, thereare numerous locations that will collect, process, and use the stem cellsfrom your baby’s cord blood to treat other people. Just like otherblood donations, there is no cost to the donor of cord blood.
If you do not choose to store your baby’s blood, please considerdonating it. Your donation could make a difference in someone else’slife.
Clickhereto find a public cord blood donation site in your area.
Where can I learn more about cord blood banking and arrange forcord blood banking services?
There are several cord blood banks that are accredited by the AmericanAssociation of Blood Banks. Most offer information on cord blood bankingand provide private cord blood banking services. With a little research,you should be able to locate a credible cord blood bank online.
Viacord is accredited by the AABBand they are available to give you immediate answers to your questions.They can be reached toll-free at 1-866-384-0476.
Compiled using information from the followingsources: