July 2, 2014

There are many misconceptions when it comes to cord blood banking. However, with a little research, it’s easy to become educated about the process and put some of those myths to rest for good.

To some, the topic of cord blood banking invokes controversy. A misconception had occasionally about cord blood banking and the storing of umbilical cord blood stem cells is that the cells are the same as embryonic stem cells. But that is not the case; they are two different types of stem cells from two different sources. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent stem cells, which are taken from days-old embryos, usually destroying the embryo in the process, BUT umbilical cord blood stem cells are multipotent stem cells, which are blood-forming cells taken from the baby’s umbilical cord AFTER birth and AFTER the blood is no longer needed by the baby. While embryonic stem cell research is sometimes controversial for ethical reasons, there is no harm to the mother or baby in the collection of umbilical cord blood stem cells.

Another misconception is that stem cells are not viable for extended periods of time in cold storage. This is not true either. While it is true that cord blood storage and treatment options are a relatively new medical breakthrough, (approximately 25 years), stem cells that were stored for almost 23 years were found to still be viable when thawed out for use. Medical professionals and researchers are confident that, if properly stored in cryogenic freezing conditions, stem cells will remain healthy and viable for an indefinite period of time.

Some also might believe that the odds of needing a cord blood transplant are too small, to justify private cord blood banking. But it is now estimated that by the time a person turns 70 years old, the odds of needing a stem cell transplant in their lifetime is about 1 in 217. Currently, more than 80 diseases are being treated or cured with stem cell transplants. Cord blood and stem cell researchers are breaking new ground all the time and the numbers and types of treatable diseases are likely to rise in the coming years. This would increase a person’s likelihood of needing a stem cell transplant at some time in their lifetime.

Also, costs to privately store your baby’s cord blood is the root of another common myth. Some believe that cord blood banking is an expensive endeavor, for a family about to increase its size with the addition of a new baby. This is also incorrect. At CariCord, the initial costs are low, as are the annual storage fees, especially when compared to the costs associated with retrieving a cord blood unit from a public bank. In addition, CariCord offers financing to those who need it and discounts to members of law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, military members and veterans, and more.

There are many more myths such as these that keep families from seeking out the life-saving benefits of private cord blood banking, but they are just that – MYTHS. Get answers to all your questions about cord blood banking by visiting CariCord.com or by calling and visiting with one of our helpful representatives today.

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