May 14, 2014

During pregnancy, parents are faced with many decisions to make regarding their soon-to-be-born child. One of those decisions is whether to store your baby’s cord blood.

As expectant parents, you have a few options to when it comes to saving your baby's cord blood: Private banking, where your baby's cord blood is stored at a private facility such as CariCord for exclusive use by your family; Public donation, which is the donation of your baby's cord blood for research or for other transplant purposes; Or not storing the blood at all. By choosing not to save your baby’s valuable cord blood, which could be used by your child, another family member or for use at a public cord blood bank, your baby's cord blood is just discarded at the hospital as medical waste.

The reasons to choose a private cord blood bank are vast, with a higher number of cell therapies and transplant options available due to greater odds of familial matching as a main reasons.

Other reasons to consider a private bank, such as CariCord, are if you:

  • Have a high risk family medical history of one of the more than 80 diseases currently being treated with cord blood stem cells, or have a child who is a full blood sibling of your unborn baby who has a disease treatable through the use of cord blood,

  • You see promise in the current medical trials of cord blood treatments or are confident in future scientific advances in the field,

  • You have a high risk pregnancy with a high likelihood of a premature delivery,

  • Or you are a mixed race couple, which have a harder time being matched through public banks.

Between half and three-quarters of all donated umbilical cord blood made to public banks is discarded, typically due to the size of the sample or failing to meet other aspects of the bank’s process and storage standards.

Also, should the need ever arise where a family needs to use stem cells from a public bank, the current average cost to do so is approximately $35,000 per public cord blood unit, as billed by the hospital. There is NO COST to access the cells you have stored in a private bank such as CariCord beyond the initial one-time processing fees and annual storage costs.

Having access to your own family’s cells reduces the chances of any complications during any transplant needs. Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) is a sometimes fatal side effect of a stem cell transplant where the transplanted cells react against tissues in the recipient. Up to 75 percent of transplants using stem cells where the patient was not related to the donor results in GVHD. Using stem cells from a blood-related family member reduces the risk of incidence significantly.

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