Cord blood banking is important to treat chronic conditions, such as immune system disorders, blood disorders, cancer, or other genetic abnormalities. The cord blood contains stem cells, which are used to make new blood cells. The cord blood originates from the umbilical cord or placenta when a baby is born. The blood is typically collected and stored in a blood bank instead of being thrown away.
What Happens to Cord Blood When It Is Donated
Once cord blood is collected, it is donated to a blood bank. The blood must have enough cells for its future use, and the mother’s health history must be good enough to be a donor. In general, the blood must be free of infection and other problems. If the blood passes all of these tests, then the cord can be frozen and stored. The cord blood is typically stored in a public blood bank, and the type is listed on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry. A patient who is a match can receive a transplant from the bank.
Difference Between Public and Private Cord Blood Banks
Cord blood in a public blood bank is available to anyone who needs a transplant. This type of blood bank is not beneficial for just one family’s use. Instead, public blood banks may be used for research purposes. These banks do not charge for collection, storage, or processing of cord blood. Many medical professional organizations also facilitate the donation of cord blood to public cord blood banks.
Some people store their baby’s cord blood in a private cord blood bank. Private cord banks can only be used by that particular family. This practice is not supported by some medical professional organizations, and there are charges for collection fees and annual storage fees.
The Chances a Child Will Need Cord Blood
The chance of a child needing cord blood stem cells is small. Experts estimate that the chance is one in 1000 to one in 200,000. If the child has a medical condition, a private umbilical cord blood bank is recommended to parents. An older child can benefit from cord blood from a younger child without the same condition.
Cord blood can be stored for up to 10 years. There is a possibility that it can be stored longer, but there is a possibility that the blood can be stored for a longer period of time. More research is required to determine the exact time that cord blood can last before it becomes ineffective. Knowing this information will be helpful to people who choose to store cord blood for personal use in private blood banks.
Consider Speaking With Your Doctor About Cord Blood Banking
You should talk to your doctor before you donate your cord blood. Contact the hospital to determine if they work with a public cord blood bank. Medical university medical centers often accept public cord donations. The National Marrow Donor Program often publishes the hospitals that accept donations for public cord blood banking facilities.