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Let’s Talk About Cord Blood Banking

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First of all, what is cord blood banking? At the time of delivery blood is taken from the umbilical cord and stored in a private blood bank for a fee. This blood is rich in stem cells that  has the ability to transform into almost any human cell. Cord blood banking is a way to preserve potentially life-saving cells that usually get discarded at birth.

According to the cord blood registry your baby’s cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for his or her own stem cells a possibly foe siblings and other family members. These stem cells can be used to treat many life-threatening diseases such as certain cancers, anemia, and leukemia, In essence, these cells “know” how to find injured tissue and cells in the body and initiate the repair and healing process..

Like anything else, there are pros and cons to everything. The banks argue that cord blood banking is thought of as an “insurance policy” for an emergency. Cord blood banking is not cheap, usually costing around $2000 for collection and storage.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology don’t support the practice by most people. They argue that the benefits of cord blood banking are too isolated to warrant the cost.

There are also banks that take donated cord blood. The Texas Cord Blood Bank (TCCB) is a “statewide source of ethnically diverse, life-saving cord blood. It is a nonprofit organization and has partnered with hospitals throughout Texas for the collection of donated cord blood.”  They report that more than 70% of children and adults requiring a bone marrow transplant won’t have a familial match. The options then lie in the hopes of a match through the national bone marrow and cord blood registries.  There is no charge for the collection and storage of donor blood. Here is a link to the participating hospitals in Central Texas. The decision to donate and collect cord blood is a personal decision for every family. For a complete source of information, visit: www.bethematch.com

Here is a list on FAQ’s about Cord Blood Donations and a here is a list of screening tools for cord blood donors.

The important thing is to make an informed decision, know the benefits and the costs before you make a decision.

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