If you’re considering umbilical cord blood banking but don’t know what steps you need to take, read our guide on choosing the right cord blood bank.
So, you are expecting a baby and have decided to save your baby’s umbilical cord blood for the future. This blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat a lot of diseases. It is especially helpful if you or your partner has a family history of diseases such as leukemia or immunodeficiency disorders.
However, as is the case with any other decision regarding your baby, choosing the right cord blood bank requires a lot of research so that you can make an informed decision. Here is a guide to help you and your partner go about deciding on a private cord blood bank.
It is important that the cord blood bank you are considering has the proper credentials. In the United States, accreditation from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and FDA registration are vital parameters. The bank should comply with federal standards for license and registration. In addition, find out the number of samples the bank has stored and how much of the stored cord blood has been used for medical therapies and transplants. Knowing how many years they have been in the business, and how many doctors trust and prefer taking cord blood units from the bank will give you an idea of the reputation of the bank and help you in choosing the right cord blood bank for you.
Enquire with the representative of the bank about their way of processing the cord blood. There are two processing techniques, and you can talk to your health practitioner about picking the right one:
There are two different kinds of private cord blood banks- ones that own and operate their own laboratory, and others that are sales and marketing organizations and outsource the lab function for stem cell processing and storage.
A company-owned laboratory facility has direct control over services, licenses, and cord blood banking cost. In companies that outsource the laboratory, these factors need to be assessed for two different organizations. You can evaluate these key factors in your decision-making process.
There is a 48-hour time limit on processing cord blood after the birth of a baby. This limit has been set by agencies that supervise cord blood transplants. So, ensure that your cord blood bank meets this deadline.
Ideally, choose a bank that has its storage facility at a location which is less prone to natural disasters, as floods or earthquakes can damage a bank and the stem cells that it has stored. Fire safety is also another important factor. Also, check that the bank has proper power backup options and monitoring systems to ensure an optimum environment for the stored units at all times.
While the cost of storage should not be the only factor when choosing the right cord blood bank, it does play an important role in your decision. Decide on one where you feel that the pricing is justified by the services that it offers, and is also affordable for you in the long run.
Ultimately, cord blood banking is a business, and businesses do fail at times. Since this is a long-term investment for your family, know your options in case the private bank you have chosen happens to go bankrupt. Check the website in detail, call them up, or visit the bank to get all your doubts cleared.
In the end, consider all these factors in choosing the right cord blood bank that meets all your requirements. Once you sign up for the process, the bank will give you a collection kit to help you prepare for the big moment. Keep your doctor in the loop, and complete all forms and other required documentation in advance to ensure smooth sailing at the time of stem cell collection. Once done, rest easy knowing that your baby’s umbilical blood cord will now be available to you or any family member whenever you need it.
Discover top tips for a healthy body and mind with our weekly wellbeing newsletter.
Join our mailing list today.