Private Cord Blood Banking: 6 Things You Need to Know

Private Cord Blood Banking: 6 Things You Need to Know

So, you’ve been doing some research on the power of newborn stem cells and private cord blood banking. Feeling overwhelmed by all the information you’re uncovering?

To help you sort through the deluge, here are six things you need to know:

1. Cord blood transplants have been in use for more than 25 years

The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 by Dr. Elaine Gluckman at St. Louis Hospital in Paris. The transplant was performed on a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder.1 Now, cord blood is approved to treat approximately 80 diseases.2

2. If you choose to bank cord blood, you may want to plan ahead

When deciding to bank cord blood, there are medical history documents that you will need to complete prior to giving birth. To make the cord blood banking process a success, contact your cord blood bank of choice as early as possible. This will ensure everything is in order before your baby arrives.

3. There are about 30 private cord blood banks in the U.S

Private cord blood banks, also known as family cord blood banks, are companies that collect, process and store your cord blood specifically for your family, so you can access it if needed. View a list of cord blood banks in the U.S here. Lifebank® also offers placental blood banking to expectant parents. Banking both kinds of blood increases the total number of stem cells that you can save for potential future medical use.

4. Financial aid may be available for families that choose private cord blood banking

Also, many cord blood banks offer programs that cover the cost of processing and storage if you have a sick family member that might benefit from a cord blood transplant. In addition, certain insurance companies may offer assistance if that sick individual needs to be treated with cord blood in the near future.

5. All cord blood is screened and tested

For peace of mind, private banks require that all mothers undergo medical screening, and all cord blood is tested for infectious diseases and contamination.

6. If preserved properly, cord blood can be stored for a long time

Cord blood is stored in a nitrogen freezer, the same technology used to store donated sperm. Studies have shown that cord blood stem cells continue to be viable even after being frozen for more than 23 years.3

Overall, stem cell banking with a private cord blood bank is a great idea because it gives your family additional treatment options for diseases in the years to come. If you feel like Lifebank® is the right choice for your family, click here to schedule a planning session with one of our stem cell experts.

REFERENCES

  1. Gluckman E. History of cord blood transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplantation 2009; 44:621-626.
  2. Cord Blood Association. Cord Blood Editorial Background and Fact Sheet. December 2019. Available at https://cord.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/Fact_Sheet_Dec_19.pdf.
  3. Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Frequently Asked Questions. Available at http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/faqs.