Cord Blood Preservation FAQs


 

What is cord blood?

Cord blood, or umbilical cord blood, is the blood remaining in your baby’s umbilical cord following birth. It is a rich, non-controversial source of stem cells that must be collected at the time of birth.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune systems. They are found throughout the body including in bone marrow, cord blood, and peripheral blood. They are particularly powerful because they have the ability to treat, repair, and/or replace damaged cells in the body.

Why do families choose to collect and store their baby’s cord blood?

Today, cord blood stem cells have been used successfully in the treatment of over 70 diseases. For many families, banking their baby’s cord blood offers peace of mind that their family’s stem cells are readily available should they need them. Others save cord blood because of its emerging use in treating Type I Diabetes and Cerebral Palsy, which requires a child’s own cord blood. Stem cells from a related source are the preferred option for all treatment, and transplants using cord blood from a family member are twice as successful as transplants using cord blood from a non-relative (i.e. public source).

How is cord blood collected?

The collection process is safe, easy, and painless for both mother and baby and does not interfere with the delivery. After the baby is born, but before the placenta is delivered, a medical professional will clean a 4 to 8 ince area of the umbilical cord with antiseptic solution and insert a needle collected to a blood bag into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity until the umbilical vein is emptied. The blood bag is clamped, sealed, labeled, and shipped by courier to a processing lab. The collection itself typically takes about 2 to 4 minutes.

Who can use my newborn’s cord blood stem cells?

Your newborn’s cord blood stem cells have the potential to be used by the child, and, if there is an adequate match, by siblings, and sometimes parents. An adequate match using related cord blood is defined as a 3 of 6 HLA Match. When two people share the same HLAs they are said to be a “match,” which means their tissues are immunologically compatible. With your newborn’s cord blood, there is a 100% probability of an adequate match for the child and a 75% probability for siblings.

How long do cord blood stem cells last?

It is well-established that stem cells are still viable after 15 years of storage. Although there is no definitive data on how long cord blood stem cells last, the New York State Health Department Guidelines for cord blood banking state, “there is no evidence at present that cells stored at -196o C in an undisturbed manner lose either in-vitro determined viability or biologic activity.”

What are the odds of having a stem cell transplant?

The latest statistics suggest there is a 1 in 217 chance for any given individual to undergo a stem cell transplant by age 70.

How much does it cost to preserve cord blood with a Family Bank?

Generally, the cost for blood stem cell preservation as a one time charge of about $2200 and an annual storage fee of about $125. Many companies offer extended payment plans as low as $64 per month.

More information can be found by calling 1-877-CORD FACTS (1-877-267-3322)