cord blood success stories | why do parents bank umbilical cord blood

Cord blood is the small amount of blood left in the umbilical cord following a child’s birth and it can be collected immediately after a baby is delivered. This blood is rich in stem cells, the basic building blocks of blood cells and the body’s immune system—similar to the ones found in bone marrow.
These powerful cells play an important role in treating many life-threatening diseases. They can help someone who is sick and in need of a stem transplant now or in the near future. They could also help your child or another member of your family if they get sick later on. How the cells are used depends on the cord blood banking method you choose.
Unfortunately, delayed cord clamping is not compatible with banking your little one’s cord blood because the success of the treatment heavily relies on the volume of the blood infused with the stem cells. The more blood the greater chance at a successful outcome.
For families that may not be able to afford private cord blood banking, there are some financial aid options that are available. Certain charitable organizations work with the more than 25 certified private blood banks to subsidize the initial collection cost, shipping costs, and storage fees that are necessary. Although some families may still not be able to afford private banking, even with financial aid, there are opportunities for more families to store cord blood now more than ever before.
Cord blood stem cells can be used in the treatment nearly 80 diseases today. Click on a category below to see specific diseases. Note: Banking cord blood does not guarantee that treatment will work and only a doctor can determine when it can be used.
Donors to public banks must be screened for blood or immune system disorders or other problems. With a cord blood donation, the mother’s blood is tested for genetic disorders and infections, and the cord blood also is tested after it is collected. Once it arrives at the blood bank, the cord blood is “typed.” It is tracked by a computer so that it can be found quickly for any person who matches when needed.
So what are your options? You have three choices. One is to store the cord blood with a private company at a cost to you ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 and an annual storage fee in the ballpark of $125. Secondly, you can donate the cord blood to a public bank, if there is one working with your hospital, and your doctor is on board with the idea. There are also public banks that accept mail-in donations, if you register during your second trimester and your doctor is willing to take a short training class on-line. Zero cost to you. The third option is to do nothing and have the cord blood, umbilical cord, and placenta destroyed as medical waste.
Compare costs and services for saving umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue stem cells. Americord’s® highest quality cord blood banking, friendly customer service, and affordable pricing have made us a leader in the industry.
With public cord blood banks, there’s a greater chance that your cord blood will be put to use because it could be given to any child or adult in need, says William T. Shearer, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Cord blood is donated and is put on a national registry, to be made available for any transplant patient. So if your child should need the cord blood later in life, there’s no guarantee you would be able to get it back.
The therapuetic potential of cord blood continues to grow.  Over the last few years cord blood use has expanded into an area known as regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the science of living cells being used to potentially regenerate or facilitate the repair of cells damaged by disease, genetics, injury or simply aging. Research is underway with the hope that cord blood stem cells may prove beneficial in young patients facing life-changing medical conditions once thought untreatable – such as autism and cerebral palsy.
Keep in mind that it’s still very unlikely your child will ever tap into her own saved cord blood later in life (the odds are 1 in 2,700 to 1 in 20,000 by some estimates). In fact, a baby’s own cord blood cells may be unsuitable to treat any condition that appears down the road because the mutations responsible for that disorder are typically present at birth. What’s more, the chances that you’ll be able to use your baby’s donated cord blood to treat an adult family member are also low. That’s because most stored units of cord blood don’t contain enough stem cells to treat anyone weighing more than 90 pounds. Donating your baby’s cord blood to a public bank does widen the scope of those in need who could benefit.
Cord blood is extra blood that’s left in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after the cord is cut. Babies don’t need this leftover blood after they’re born, but it contains cells that could help those who are sick, now or in the future.
Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery. At or near term, there is a maternal–fetal transfer of cells to boost the immune systems of both the mother and baby in preparation for labor. This makes cord blood at the time of delivery a rich source of stem cells and other cells of the immune system. Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the cord blood and extracting and cryogenically freezing its stem cells and other cells of the immune system for potential future medical use.
Current research suggests that cord blood can be stored for a maximum of 15 years. New technologies in this field may extend that timeframe in the future, but how that would affect current samples stored is unknown. Because of these limits, several organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend against routine cord blood storage and suggest public banking instead.
A “clinical trial” is a study in human patients for an emerging therapy that has not been adopted as standard therapy. This website has pages that enable patients to search worldwide for currently recruiting clinical trials with ether cord blood or umbilical cord tissue MSC. The table below checks off all diagnoses that have ever been treated in clinical trials with cord blood or cord tissue, regardless of whether the trials are still open.
Why should you consider donating the cord blood to a public bank? Simply because, besides bringing a new life into the world, you could be saving an individual whose best chance at life is a stem cell transplant with your baby’s donated cord blood. This can only happen if you donate and if your baby is a close enough match for a patient in need. If you chose to reserve the cord blood for your family, then siblings who have the same parents have a 25% chance of being an exact match.
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The entire procedure is noninvasive, painless and does not interfere with the birthing process. If at any time your physician or midwife becomes concerned about the health of you or your baby, the cord blood collection will not take place.
Another primary issue is simply the fact that there is no guarantee that stem cells from cord blood will ever become a viable medical field. Though these stem cells are being used in current therapies, the chances of needing a specific stem cell transplant without a family history of illness or disease is quite low.
Prices subject to change until they are paid. Fees apply to single-birth, U.S. customers only. Cancellation fees may apply. All major credit cards accepted. Payment plans cover first-year fees only; future annual storage fees are not included. If not paying by credit/debit card, total first year fees are due at the time of enrollment.
Preserving stem cells does not guarantee that the saved stem cells will be applicable for every situation. Ultimate use will be determined by a physician. Please note: Americord Registry’s activities are limited to collection of umbilical cord tissue from autologous donors. Americord Registry’s possession of a New York State license for such collection does not indicate approval or endorsement of possible future uses or future suitability of cells derived from umbilical cord tissue.
“It’s critically important for patients to get balanced information and answers to their questions about cord blood banking,” says Dr. Aghajanian. “Because there are so many companies advertising their services, it can be somewhat difficult to understand information on the internet. We recommend that patients discuss this issue with their physicians.”
There is often confusion over who can use cord blood stem cells in treatment — the baby they were collected from or a sibling? The short answer is both, but it very much depends on the condition being treated. And it’s ultimately the treating physician’s decision.
There are two ways to store cord blood: You can donate the blood to a public storage bank, or you can pay for private storage. Both storage types have pros and cons, and the best option for you and your family depends on different factors. Your health care provider can help you weigh the options and make the right choice. This guide can help you create a cord blood registry and gives you a list of the best cord blood banks to choose from.
Stem cells may be used in transplants to treat people with blood cancers and other blood malignancies. These transplants can help the body replenish the blood stream with healthy cells. Stem cells are already used in the treatment of more than 70 diseases—lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, immune deficiency, and metabolic diseases. Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute also are looking into their potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and heart disease, among other conditions.
Umbilical cord blood can save lives. Cord blood is rich in stem cells that can morph into all sorts of blood cells, which can be used to treat diseases that harm the blood and immune system, such as leukemia and certain cancers, sickle-cell anemia, and some metabolic disorders. There are a few ways for transplant patients to get blood cells (umbilical and placenta, bone marrow, peripheral/circulation), but cord blood is easier to match with patients, and because it is gathered during birth from the umbilical cord, it’s a painless procedure.
While banking cord blood is a new experience for many parents, it is a simple one. After all, most mothers are worried about how the delivery will go and don’t want to also be worried about the details of collecting, processing and cryo-preserving their babies’s cord blood. Thankfully, the healthcare provider and the cord blood bank do most of the work. Here are the steps found in cord blood banking:
An additional cost that is borne only by public banks is the “HLA typing” that is used to match donors and patients for transplants. This is an expensive test, running about $75 to $125 per unit. Family banks always defer this test until it is known whether a family member might use the cord blood for therapy.





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The syringe or bag should be pre-labeled with a unique number that identifies your baby. Cord blood may only be collected during the first 15 minutes following the birth and should be processed by the laboratory within 48 hours of collection.
Sometimes cord blood units do not meet criteria for use in transplanting. Typically, this occurs if the amount of cord blood collected is too small or the unit contains too few cells. In this case, it may be used for research purposes that have been approved by the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank and meet required ethical standards.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Health information on this site is based on peer-reviewed medical journals and highly respected health organizations and institutions including ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as well as the What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.
In an allogenic transplant, another person’s stem cells are used to treat a child’s disease. This kind of transplant is more likely to be done than an autologous transplant. In an allogenic transplant, the donor can be a relative or be unrelated to the child. For an allogenic transplant to work, there has to be a good match between donor and recipient. A donor is a good match when certain things about his or her cells and the recipient’s cells are alike. If the match is not good, the recipient’s immune system may reject the donated cells. If the cells are rejected, the transplant does not work.
There are around 30 private banks in the U.S. too. If you decide to opt for private storage, you should choose a cord blood bank that’s registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). AABB accreditation is the gold standard in cord blood banking, ensuring that your baby’s cord blood is collected, stored, processed and distributed safely and effectively.
In New Zealand, a hopeful couple are participating in a study that will use one of their son’s cord blood stem cells to research treatment for another son’s cystic fibrosis. In Chicago, people are using their sibling’s stem cells to successfully treat sickle cell disease. And countless other families have banked their second child’s cord blood after their first child was diagnosed with leukemia. Many of those children are alive and well today thanks to their sibling’s stem cells. Since the first successful cord blood stem cell transplant on a sibling in 1988, over 30,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide.
Most of the diseases for which HSCT is a standard treatment are disorders of blood cell lineage. The proliferation by which blood cells are formed from stem cells is illustrated in the side graphic (click on the image to expand it); you can also read about specific cell types in the immune system in more detail. In the United States, most health insurance providers will pay for a stem cell transplant if it is a “standard therapy” for the patient’s diagnosis.
Students who register to donate blood three or more times during their high school career earn a Red Cord to wear during graduation events. Seniors must complete the requirement by May 15 (or by the date of their school’s final blood drive of the year, whichever is later).  
In addition to the stem cells, researchers are discovering specific uses for the other types of cells in the treatment of certain conditions. Cord blood Treg cells hold potential for preventing graft-versus-host disease in stem cell transplantations and ameliorating the effects of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Cord blood natural killer cells also hold future potential. These cells have been programmed to target specific cancers and tumors in clinical trials. This could make them exceptionally strong candidates for chronic or treatment-resistant cases of cancer.

2 Replies to “cord blood success stories | why do parents bank umbilical cord blood”

  1. The cord blood collection process is simple, safe, and painless. The process usually takes no longer than five minutes. Cord blood collection does not interfere with delivery and is possible with both vaginal and cesarean deliveries.
    The potential of cord blood banking is enormous, but so are the costs of private banking. The pros and cons of cord blood banking suggest that public banking can be a beneficial choice for many families. Other choices are available as well, including a delay in the cutting of the umbilical cord, so each family must decide which option will be right for them.

  2. There are several resources available for collection that benefit transplant patients, including bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood is the easiest to collect because it is a painless procedure that must be completed anyway to disconnect a newborn from the mother. Cord blood is also easier to match with others, even compared to blood that is recovered from the placenta, which makes it a highly effective treatment option.
    For the 12- and 24-month payment plans, down payment is due at enrollment. In-house financing cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. *Please add $50 to the down payment for medical courier service if you’re located in Alaska, Hawai’i or Puerto Rico. **Actual monthly payment will be slightly lower than what is being shown. For the length of the term, the annual storage fee is included in the monthly payment. Upon the child’s birthday that ends the term and every birthday after that, an annual storage fee will be due. These fees are currently $150 for cord blood and $150 for cord tissue and are subject to change.
    Once cord blood is in a public bank, it is listed as available on a national registry. People who need stem cell transplants and are looking for a match may be able to use it. In 2016, cord blood was used to help 29% of patients who received a transplant in the US, according to the HRSA.
    The Medical Letter On Drugs and Therapeutics also recently addressed aspects of public and private cord blood banks, asking the question: “Does Private Banking Make Sense?” After citing various statistics on the actual uses of privately stored cord blood, they concluded that: “At the present time, private storage of umbilical cord blood is unlikely to be worthwhile. Parents should be encouraged to contribute, when they can, to public cord blood banks instead.” [Access The Medical Letter at http://www.medicalletter.org].
    Cord blood contains mesenchymal stem cells but is much more abundant in hematopoietic stem cells. Cord tissue, on the other hand, contains some hematopoietic stem cells but is much richer in mesenchymal stem cells. Cord tissue, or Wharton’s jelly, is the protective layer that covers the umbilical cord’s vein and other vessels. Its MSCs can become a host of cells including those found in the nervous system, sensory organs, circulatory tissues, skin, bone, cartilage, and more. MSCs are currently undergoing clinical trials for sports injuries, heart and kidney disease, ALS, wound healing and autoimmune disease. As with cord blood, cord tissue is easily collected at the type of birth and holds great potential in regenerative medicine. Learn more about cord tissue banking here.

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