Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cord Blood Banking

We did not choose to do cord blood banking.  The doctor handed us the fliers early on, but it was the last thing on my mind during the pregnancy.  By the time I got around to thinking about it I had run out of time to prepare the paperwork for donation. 

What is cord blood banking?

Umbilical cord blood stem cells can be used in transplants to treat a variety of pediatric disorders including leukemia, sickle cell disease, and metabolic disorders.  There is no scientific data to support that transplantation is effective from the donor back to the donor. 

Why would you pursue private cord blood banking? 
The American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”) recommends “private cord blood banking for [those] who have an older child with a condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as a genetic immunodeficiency.” 

Why wouldn’t you pursue private cord blood banking?
The AAP also notes “families may be vulnerable to emotional marketing at the time of birth of a child ...”  In fact, the research estimates are so unreliable that the possibility that your child will need a cord blood transplant is anywhere from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 200,000.

Another reason not to pursue private cord blood banking is that the high costs outweigh the benefits.  First-year fees can range from $595 to $1,835, depending on which private bank you choose. Annual storage fees are usually about $95.

What happens to donated cord blood?
Public cord blood banking, or donating, means that the baby's cord blood is stored in a cord blood bank and is available to anyone in need of a transplant or may be used research purposes.

See for more information on how to donate cord blood. 


  1. thank you for posting this, joyce! as a daughter of someone who passed away from leukemia and who received a cord blood transplant, it means so much to me that you have made mention of it in your blog. i am sure it is a very difficult decision for any parent to make, especially considering the cost. that being said -- i am forever grateful to the people who donated and who helped my mom get the transplant she needed. although she passed away after a year-long battle, i am happy to have learned so much about the cord blood process and plan on donating when i am pregnant :)

    again, thank you for posting this! definitely brought tears to my eyes, love you!

  2. It is a shame that many hospitals are not set up to collect cord blood. This should be on the agenda of every hospital administration: establish the systems to collect so donating families can contribute that which is otherwise thrown away.

  3. Hello,
    You have really explained about basics of core blood banking very nicely. I am pregnant and was recently approached by the representative of a Core Blood Bank about the possibility of saving the cord blood as future insurance for my child. I liked the idea but the cost of perseverance is quite high. I have also come to know that menstrual blood also has stem cells that can be used for transplant. Do you have any idea about that?