Information on Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Donation
How is Cord Blood Used?
Blood from a newborn placenta and umbilical cord contains potentially life saving stem cells. At present, a newborns collected stem cell cannot be used to treat it's own inborn errors of metabolism or genetic diseases. Those stem cells would contain the same genetic mutation as those of the donor. According to Dr. Gregg, Chair of ACOG, Committee on genetics, "Cord Blood collected from a newborn that later develops Leukemia cannot be used to treat that Leukemia for much the same reason." To date, the possibility of that same newborn needing their own cord blood at a later date remains unlikely.
Who can benefit from stem cells in the cord blood?
Some new parents feel more secure knowing that they have banked blood for the future. For families who have a history of diseases such as Lymphoma, Leukemia or bone marrow diseases, the chances increase that their babies' stem cells may be needed in the future. It is unknown how long the blood can be stored successfully.
Cord Blood transplants can benefit immediate family members, extended family members and non-family related children with certain diseases. Cord Blood does not require an exact match to the person receiving the cord blood.
What options are available for cord blood to be donated or saved?
There are 3 different types of Cord Blood Banks:
-Banks used only for research
Some large hospitals have their own banks, currently; there are no hospitals in Pennsylvania that provide cord blood programs.
There are two public banks in the United States that collect for bone marrow programs or for research. Cord blood from these banks can usually be used by anyone with a need. Contact them directly to check if you qualify to donate:
Life Bank USA
Private banks collect the blood for their clients and provide storage. They typically charge a collection fee as well as a yearly storage fee. The physician will collect the blood and return the container to the parent. Within 24 hour, either the blood gas sent to the chosen cord blood company or a company courier picks up the specimen.
In the Central Bucks area there are three companies that offer this service to our patients. Doylestown Hospital does not endorse anyone company. All companies listed here are inspected and accredited.
CBR (Cord Blood Registry)
What are the costs of cord blood donation and storage?
The collection fee is about $2000.00. The annual storage fee is about $125.00. Some banks offer payment plans or free service for those with a validated need. Your Physician may have a fee for his/her participation in the collection.
Several other companies throughout the United States offer some form of cord blood banking.
Further information is available at: www.parentsguidecordblood.com