Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It?

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Understanding cord blood banking and its importance in the medical field

Main question from parents after analyzing the cord blood banking pros and cons is: is cord blood banking worth it ?

As an expectant mother there several decisions to make, and some are easy whereas others are difficult. Perhaps you have heard about cord blood banking but are not sure what it entails and how you come in. With the cord blood bank, you have three options: one, the first option donate the cord blood so that anyone who may need it can benefit, have it collected and stored in private cord blood banks so that it can be used on a member of the family who may need it, or third, do nothing about it and it is discarded as medical waste. So then, which option to take, is cord blood banking worth it ?

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It
IS CORD BLOOD BANKING WORTH IT ?  ALESSANDRA IS WITH THE MIDWIFE IN SOME LIGHT PREPARTUM EXERCISES. AT THIS MOMENT OF THE PREGNANCY, SHE ALREADY RECEIVED THE COLLECTION KIT AND WAS AVAILABLE IN THE HOSPITAL. IS CORD BLOOD BANKING WORTH IT ? SHE SAID YES!

To help in making the decision if is cord blood banking worth it , it is important to delve deeper into the subject. For the sake of those who may not be familiar with the term, cord blood banking is simply collection and storage of the blood from the umbilical cord because of its stem cells. Umbilical cord is part of the placenta which feeds the fetus as it grows in the mother’s womb. The process is normally done after birth, it is painless and does not cause any discomfort to both the mother and the infant. The duration of this collection process is just a few minutes except the rare, but very dangerous cases of nuchal cord complications.

The main argument behind this is that the cord blood has blood forming cells which can be used for treating particular diseases which may need stem cell transplants.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? What is the importance of cord blood?

Until three or four decades away, placenta and umbilical cord were immediately discarded once the baby was born. With advancement of medical field, it has been discovered that they can be of great use in treatment of some diseases and conditions. Researchers discovered that cord blood could provide blood forming stem cells and help people who are suffering from some conditions such leukemia. With this, collection and storage of umbilical cord blood started.

Blood forming stem cells are early cells which can develop into mature blood cells in the body, namely: red, white and platelets blood cells. They also have the potential to provide other types of cells in the body. Read our article about the uses of cord blood apart from this one “Is cord blood banking worth it ?”

With some illnesses such as cancers, immune disorders and blood disorders requiring chemotherapy and radiation treatment, some of the good cells may be damaged in the process. With the damage, it would require stem cell transplant so that the new cells can be made boosting the capacity to produce more blood cells and well as the immune system.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It ? Collection Of Cord Blood

Cord blood banking is not an everyday procedure in the health care centres, it requires authorization and adequate planning before it is carried out. The process starts with the collection, storage, with the final stage being used on an individual who requires it.

Collection is supposed to take place immediately after birth, regardless of whether it was a normal or caesarian section delivery. It is normally done using a special kit which needs to be in place and available beforehand. If a parent chooses to have the cord blood collected, arrangements need to be done early so that the kit can be procured.

Given that this is not a routine procedure; the facility is not always prepared for it, prior arrangement need to be made to facilitate the collection. The procedure is carried out by an obstetrician, a nurse or a laboratory technician. The procedure involves cutting the umbilical cord and clamping it on one side, a needle is passed into the umbilical vein and a syringe used to draw blood. Collection process is painless and poses no risk to mother and infant; it is also safe for both cesarean section and vaginal deliveries. It is recommended that the process of extracting cord blood be delayed by 30 to 60 seconds, this is between delivery and clamping. This delay according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is beneficial to the infants, also it can affect the volume and quality of the cells.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Storage of Cord Blood After Collection

Once the collection process is complete using the collection kit, the blood is taken to the cord blood bank; here the sample is coded using an identifier. The process that follows involves separation of the stem cells from the rest of the blood and then it is frozen in liquid nitrogen. The stem cells have the capacity to last for a long period. Since the research on cord blood banking is only recent the exact maximum duration has not been determined. So, if the viability of the stem cells is not guaranteed, is cord blood banking worth it ?

Previously, blood forming cells which have been stored for more than fifteen years have been successfully used, so it is safe to state that the cells can last for a long period of time. However research around this area is needed to determine, the maximum period of storage so as to avoid complications, as having samples that have expired and are not viable.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Costs of Cord Blood Banking

For those who are donating the cord blood to a public cord blood bank, such as Carolinas,  there are no costs involved though according to some postings of mothers in our Facebook page some health care facilities might require a small fee for the collection of the blood, but we did not gather any evidence. The cost of storing shifts to the body which requires the blood cells. So probably you are thinking “is cord blood banking worth it ? Yes, but in a public bank” The problem is that the cord blood will not be available for your baby in this option.

However, when you want to store the cord blood for use on a family member, you will cater for all the costs in a private cord blood bank. The cost of storage normally varies, depending on where it is stored but will range between $1,000-$2,000. In addition to the storage cost, you will be required to pay an annual maintenance fee which can be around $ 100. There are other costs involved such as collection kit, transportation and the initial processing of the cord blood.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It?  Agreements And Further Testing 

Stored cord blood can be used autologous or allogenic. When used autologous, it means someone receiving his own cord blood in a transplant while allogenic is a procedure where one gets donated cord blood, either from a relative or an unknown donor. Transplants are normally conducted on children or young adults since the amount is not enough for adult transplant. An adult will require large quantities of cord blood for the transplant to be successful.

During the collection and storage processes some tests are conducted just like it happens in the normal blood collection process.

During the enrolment stage, initial information is collected; the parent, on behalf of the infant will be required to fill in an agreement form which should be mailed together with the cord blood. Health history is also collected as well as other medical details which can help inform the risks of the cord blood.

Other tests are done within 36 to 48 hours of collected, the maternal blood is tested for infectious diseases, the specimen is also tested for contamination.

Storage of the cord blood involves overwrapping in order to give extra protection against contamination. The specimens are stored using liquid nitrogen for cryogenic preservation. The temperatures must be below −170 degrees Celsius.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Usage of Private Banks 

Two types of banks exist, that is, the public and private banks.

  1. Public banks: These banks collect donated cord blood; it is either used for research purposes or for transplant on anyone who may require it and is a match. The service in these banks, right from the collection, storage and transplantation are offered free of charge although some fees may be imposed depending on some circumstances. The collection of blood is carried out by health care provider but unlike private banks it does not carry any identification marks, it remains anonymous, thereafter, it is shipped to the bank for future use. With this option, if there is a need for stem cell transplant it will not be possible to get the donation which you made to the bank. However, people are encouraged to donate for the purposes of saving lives. Also some recent medical research are against transplantation of own blood stem cells due to some complications.
  2. Private Banks: This is the case where cord blood is stored for use by the owner or a family member that is compatible. Unlike the public banks, there are some fees associated with the processes that take place, right from enrolment, collection, storage and transplantation. Families which have known history of diseases and conditions normally use private banks to store cord blood for future treatments. Although this is less common, some parents privately bank their child’s cord blood in anticipation of using it when they fall ill or in an event that a family member becomes affected by a condition, can be treated using the collected specimen. However, this option is discouraged due to the costs and also there are very little chances of a family member using the blood based on the available statistics. Data available on privately stored cord blood for the purposes of own family use, an insignificant number of recipient has benefited. This makes a case against storing cord blood when we analyze if is cord blood banking worth it, for use in the above described manner, instead people are encouraged to do it for the purposes of assisting those in need regardless of whether they are family members or not.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It ? Regulations and Accreditations

Whether public or private banks, cord blood banks operate under the regulations of the United States Food and Drug Administration and are accredited by the AABB. A set of standards have been developed to control cord blood collection and storage. When selecting a cord blood bank it is important to ensure that it is licensed to operate by the authorities.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It ? The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking

Stem cells are important in the immune and blood system. They are called regenerative cells for their ability to develop different type of cells in the body. They have the capacity to repair organs, tissues as well as blood vessels making them necessary in the treatment a number of diseases.

The sources of stem cells include bone marrow, fetal tissue, embryos (human) baby teeth, circulating blood, fat and muscles. Actually every human tissue has some stem cells but the above areas are known for richness making them possible harvest areas for therapeutic uses.

In conditions such as leukemia, chemotherapy is one of the treatment option that is used to remove the diseased cells for the restoration of normal cell production. Upon successful chemotherapy treatment, the disease lessens. If the disease recurs, a stem cell transplant can be done. The patient receives a transfusion of stem cells sourced from peripheral blood, bone marrow or cord blood sourced from a healthy individual.

With such a treatment, the recipient immune system is restored increasing the chances of full recovery. Although stem cells from other tissues are effective, the stem cells in cord blood are considered immature and may not have learned to attack the foreign substances. This means that cord blood stems are easier to match in a transplantation further reducing the chances of rejection. With the stem cells from the cord blood, chances of success are high a factor that has led to encouragement in collection of the specimens rather than overreliance with the other sources which have high chances of rejection and ultimate ineffective treatment and answers positively to the initial question if is cord blood banking worth it.

Experts observe that cord blood stem cells may be more valuable to ethnic minorities or generally people who may find it hard to get matches. Available data shows that in 2018 approximately 28 and 33 percent of patients identified as Hispanic and African American respectively underwent successful stem cell transplant after receiving transplants from cord blood. The same applies to adults, a rising majority are receiving cord blood stem cell transplant, although they require more than one donation since a single cord blood stem cells is not adequate. It is estimated that more than two thousand cord blood stem cells transplants are conducted in the world every year; this stresses the need for collection and storage of these specimens as they are many lives which are being saved out of their use.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Diseases Treated With Cord Blood Stem Cells

Literature suggests that cord blood stem cells can successfully be used to treat more than eighty diseases and conditions. Some of these include some blood cancers, blood disorders, general cancers, immune conditions among others. Among the blood disorders include leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease aplastic anemia, and blood lymphoma among others.

Stem cells from cord blood are also recommended in the treatment of inherited blood conditions, sickle cell anemia and other blood diseases that are prevalent in certain groups. Metabolic disorders such as Krabble and Sanfilippo diseases are treated using the cord blood transplants, these are conditions which can otherwise be fatal on infants but with use of the specimens, they are now treatable.

In normal circumstances, own stem cells would be ideal for use in a patient in need, this is due to the fact that chances of rejection are low. But in conditions where the body is making wrong cells, for instance in a genetic blood disorder or illnesses such as cancer, it is highly recommended that the transplant should be from a third party donor. The stem cells of the patient transplanted will most likely have the same defect that is being treated hence lowering the effectiveness of the treatment. This would be tantamount to transplanting the seeds of the unwanted condition back to the patient.

Use of stem cells for treatment of various condition is only a few years old, there are intensive studies going on around the world ,exploring the new ways through which the specimens of cord blood can be used in the medical field. Apart from the above listed conditions, there are other uses of cord blood, they include:

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Cerebral palsy and autism: Autism and cerebral palsy are estimated to affect at least one in every three hundred children in United States. There are some clinical trials which are undergoing where those suffering from celebral palsy are being treated using own cord blood stem cells. The same is happening to children suffering from autism with the recent results indicating that there is a marked improvement in the first six months of treatment using own cord blood.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Other conditions Hydrocephalus, juvenile diabetes and congenital heart defects are also other conditions which can be treated with own cord blood stem cells, although this is still in clinical trials. Success in these clinical trials will be a major breakthrough as these conditions are common within the general population. It will help in saving lives, more so ensuring that many babies survive beyond their first birthday.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Cases of genetically based diseases. Even among the adults there is hope that own cord blood stem cells will be beneficial in treatment of some cancers and genetically based diseases. There are several registered studies in the United States investigating the use of cord blood stem cells on varied conditions such as neurological disorders, diabetes, heart failure, stroke among other diseases. Success of these studies and clinical trials will have helped in solving the current problems and reducing the disease burden on humans. An affirmative answer to the question “is cord blood banking worth it ?” for sure.

With the research on the cord blood stem cells ongoing, little is still known on the capability of this specimen in solving human problems. Breakthroughs which have been made in the last few decades are a pointer that stem cells hold a great future in treatment of several diseases. This means that collection and storage of cord blood stem cells should be stepped up. It may not help you or any member of your family overcome medical challenges but it will go a long way in advancing medical field not forgetting that somebody else out there might be a beneficially of a successful transplant.

If you would like to have the cord blood collected and stored talk to your obstetrician. Know what is required for the procedure and what it would cost you. Depending on the needs explore the appropriate banking option. If you opt on the private cord blood banking, understand your rights; carry out a comprehensive research on the facility which will be used to ensure viability and safety of the cord blood, and for this read our cord blood banking reviews to choose the best bank after you understand and decide if is cord blood banking worth it.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? The Option Of Public Cord Blood Banking

To dоnаtе cord blооd is whаt tоdау’ѕ mеdісаl рrасtіtіоnеrѕ аnd dосtоrѕ аrе аdvіѕіng уеt-tо-bе раrеntѕ асrоѕѕ the wоrld. Besides gіvіng bіrth tо a new lіfе, рrеgnаnсу gіvеѕ new hope fоr the ѕurvіvаl of еxіѕtіng lives that are соmbаtіng mаlіgnаnt аіlmеntѕ. Yеѕ, thе ѕtеm сеllѕ contained іn thе nеwbоrn bаbу’ѕ umbilical соrd саn hеlр сurе раtіеntѕ ѕuffеrіng frоm leukemia, severe аnеmіа оr асutе disorders оf the іmmunе ѕуѕtеm. Aѕ rеѕеаrсhеrѕ are соmіng uр with newer advancements іn treatment wіth blооd fоrmіng cells, they strongly аdvосаtе thе nееd for соrd blood dоnаtіоn.

I do not recommend to donate the cord blood to a public bank. However if you want to know the reasons to donate the cord blood to the public, read this article about public cord blood banking.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It? Yes, It Is For Your Baby –  Conclusions

Saving уоur bаbу’ѕ umbіlісаl соrd blооd аllоwѕ іt tо bе cryogenically stored, and thеn available іf уоur child lаtеr bесоmеѕ sick аnd nееdѕ a bоnе marrow transplant. Umbilical соrd blооd was dіѕсаrdеd untіl thе 1970’s, whеn researchers dіѕсоvеrеd thаt umbilical cord blооd соuld ѕаvе lіvеѕ undеr certain сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ. Hоw dо уоu decide оn соrd blood bаnkіng? Is cord blood banking worth it ? Mаnу soon-to-be раrеntѕ аѕk this vеrу ԛuеѕtіоn. Here аrе ѕоmе things tо соnѕіdеr when dесіdіng оn whеthеr оr not to bаnk уоur baby’s umbilical соrd blооd, as a preliminary conclusion of our study.

This tуре оf trаnѕрlаnt wоuld bе ‘аutоlоgоuѕ’ аnd іѕ different thаn the mоrе соmmоn ‘аllоgеnіс’ trаnѕрlаntѕ that mіght bе dоnе from a sibling оr оthеr rеlаtіvе or аn unrelated donor.

Oftеn tіmеѕ, соrd blооd bаnkіng can save a baby’s lіfе. But ѕtіll, thеrе are mаnу other factors to соnѕіdеr. Prісе seems to bе thе numbеr оnе rоаdblосk, wіth thе соmрlеtе соѕt bеіng аrоund $3,000. Sо, уоu should сеrtаіnlу not fееl guіltу іf уоu cannot bаnk your сhіld’ѕ cord blood due to the high costs. Shоuld you еvеn consider соrd blооd bаnkіng? Is cord blood banking worth it ?.

Hоwеvеr, іf уоu аlrеаdу hаvе a сhіld or family mеmbеr thаt hаѕ a соndіtіоn that саn bе trеаtеd with a stem cell transplant (ѕuсh аѕ ѕісklе cell аnеmіа, thalassemia, арlаѕtіс аnеmіа, leukemia, metabolic storage dіѕоrdеrѕ and сеrtаіn gеnеtіс іmmunоdеfісіеnсіеѕ), thеn you definitely ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr banking уоur сhіld’ѕ umbіlісаl соrd blооd. However, thе аvеrаgе bаbу wіthоut rіѕk factors hаѕ a vеrу lоw сhаnсе of ever needing hіѕ or hеr cord blооd.

On the other hаnd, ѕоmе dосtоrѕ аnd researchers support saving umbilical cord blood аѕ a ѕоurсе оf blооd-fоrmіng stem cells іn еvеrу dеlіvеrу. Thіѕ is mаіnlу bесаuѕе оf the рrоmіѕе thаt ѕtеm-сеll rеѕеаrсh holds fоr the future. Thе mаjоrіtу оf реорlе wоuld have lіttlе uѕе for ѕtеm сеllѕ nоw, but rеѕеаrсh into thе uѕе оf ѕtеm cells fоr trеаtmеnt оf disease іѕ ongoing – and thе future lооkѕ рrоmіѕіng. This evaluation also includes cord tissue banking that is actually a complement for traditional cord blood banking.

Yоu mау аlѕо want to donate your baby’s соrd blооd. Thіѕ іѕ possible through non-profit соrd blооd bаnkѕ thаt uѕе іt fоr research оr tо save the life оf аnоthеr сhіld. This can make you think that actually is cord blood banking worth it, but we prefer always the private banking, so it is used by your baby.

Onсе always discarded іntо the trash bіn as medical waste, as we explained earlier in this article, the blооd dеrіvеd frоm umbіlісаl соrdѕ іѕ tоdау treasured for іtѕ cord blood stem сеllѕ thаt рrоvіdе hоре tо іnnumеrаblе раtіеntѕ suffering frоm serious diseases. Sоmе реорlе рrеfеr private cord blооd banking fоr future uѕе by them оr mеmbеrѕ оf thеіr fаmіlу. Those who саnnоt аffоrd оr do nоt want tо ѕреnd on соrd blооd preservation in соrd blооd bаnkѕ саn opt to dоnаtе соrd blооd.

Cord blood banking is a worthwhile decision; Really is cord blood banking worth it, it is one which you can not regret instead you will draw satisfaction knowing that something which would have been considered medical waste is now safely stored to help in treatment of your child, family member or any other person who may require a stem cell transplant, but only with private cord blood banking. There is no higher calling than this, it is a service to self, family and the world at large.

Is Cord Blood Banking Worth It ? Yes, but only if you choose private cord blood banking, where the stored stem cells from the umbilical cord blood can be transplanted to your baby.

Overall, соrd blооd bаnkіng looks tо have a рrоmіѕіng futurе so the conclusion to the question “is cord blood banking worth it ?” is affirmative. After уоu’vе ѕtudіеd thе fасtѕ аnd уоur family hіѕtоrу, уоu ѕhоuld bе аblе to make a muсh more іnfоrmеd dесіѕіоn оn whаt’ѕ right fоr уоu.

Clearly is cord blood banking worth it, but only in a private cord blood bank where the product of the umbilical cord blood will only be available to your baby in case of need, thanks to its many uses, what compensates the high costs of storage.