Cord blood is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord after it has been cut. It contains rich and abundant stem cells that can be used to treat a host of diseases. When choosing a cord blood bank, you need to make sure they are committed to high standards and ethical practices. Cord blood banking is not an essential service; you can choose not to store your baby’s cord blood if you do not want to or cannot pay for it. However, it may prove useful in the future if your child develops a disease that can be treated with stem cells from their cord blood. There are various aspects you should consider when choosing a cord blood bank. To assist you with your decision, some of the best cord blood banks are linked here.
Who is running the cord blood bank?
The operator or the “facility” is the organization that is running the business of storing and processing cord blood. It is important to research the facility where your baby’s cord blood is being stored. The facility should be run by a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to research and improving the quality of life for people suffering from diseases that can be treated with cord blood. The facility should also be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) to ensure high standards and strict regulatory compliance.
Accreditation requires a rigorous and lengthy review process by outside experts. The process is designed to ensure that the organization adheres to all applicable federal and state regulations, including safety and health standards for personnel, laboratory procedures, and the methods and equipment used to process cord blood. AABB accreditation is not a requirement for collecting and storing cord blood, but most public cord blood banks in the U.S. choose to be accredited. The accreditation is good for five years and after that, the organization has to apply for re-accreditation.
What is the accreditation status of the Cord Blood Bank?
The first step in selecting a cord blood bank is to find out whether it is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). If the cord blood bank is not accredited, stay away from it because an accredited cord blood bank will have higher chances of serving you better. AABB accreditation is not a requirement for collecting and storing cord blood, but most public cord blood banks in the U.S. choose to be accredited. The accreditation is good for five years and after that, the organization has to apply for re-accreditation. You can also ask for a copy of the latest inspection report from the AABB to see if there are any red flags.
Cord Blood Storage Options
You should understand the different options available to you when storing cord blood.
• Intravenous (IV) Bag: This is the most common method used to store cord blood. The blood is collected from the umbilical cord via a needle, then placed into a bag containing anticoagulants and preservatives. The blood is stored in a liquid state and is kept refrigerated.
• Frozen/Gel Bag: This is another common method used to store cord blood. In this method, the blood is collected and placed in a bag along with a cryoprotective agent. This bag is then stored in a deep freezer at low temperatures.
• Umbilical Cord Tissue: This is a new, experimental process in the U.S. There is less information available about the long-term viability of this method.
• Private/Direct Banking: In this method, the entire cord blood sample is collected and sent to the cord blood bank of your choice. You are responsible for paying for the entire collection, processing and storage costs.
How is Cord Blood Sampled and Stored?
The first step is to swab the area around the umbilical cord to collect some blood. The next step is to cut the umbilical cord and collect the blood from the cord. The blood is then put into a collection bag and labeled. The bag containing the blood sample is then transported to the processing facility where it is tested for disease markers and stored in liquid nitrogen freezers. The processing facility follows strict standards to ensure that the sample does not get contaminated or degraded.
How do you extract and store cord blood?
The first step is to swab the area around the umbilical cord to collect some blood. The next step is to cut the umbilical cord and collect the blood from the cord. The blood is then put into a collection bag and labeled. The bag containing the blood sample is then transported to the processing facility where it is tested for disease markers and placed in liquid nitrogen freezers. The processing facility follows strict standards to ensure that the sample does not get contaminated or degraded.
Cord Tissue Banking and Cord Plasma Banking
Cord tissue and plasma are other types of sample that is extracted from the umbilical cord.
Cord tissue is used in medical research and has shown promise in finding cures for degenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders and other diseases. Cord plasma is a blood derivative that contains rich concentrations of proteins essential for the growth and development of tissues and organs. These samples can be stored in a cord blood bank and used later in life by the child who donated the sample or by someone else. Cord tissue and plasma are processed differently from the cord blood and are cryogenically frozen. These tissue samples are the most likely to be used in the future. Most public cord blood banks do not store cord plasma or cord tissue. If you want to store these items, contact the cord blood bank to determine if they can store it.
Are there any up-front costs when selecting a cord blood bank?
Cord blood banking is a long-term investment. Expect to pay a one-time upfront fee between $0 and $2,000 for collection and processing, followed by an annual storage fee.
Cord blood banks offer a variety of payment plans, so you can select the one that best fits your budget. If you receive financial assistance or have insurance coverage, you may not have to pay anything upfront. It’s important to review the terms of the agreement to make sure you know what is required of you and what is expected of the company.
Cord blood banking is a valuable resource that can be used in the treatment of many diseases. You can choose any public or private cord blood bank when selecting a cord blood bank. You should, however, make sure the cord blood bank is committed to high standards and practices. Additionally, you should understand the different options available to you when storing cord blood.