Cord Blood Banking
As stem cell research has yielded more potential therapies for serious illnesses such as leukemia, metabolic disorders and potentially other cancers, it is important to let newly pregnant patients be aware of cord blood banking (blood obtained from the placenta after delivery) for possible use in the future for either the child or close relatives.
Stem cells can be found only in fetal blood and bone marrow. Therefore fetal cord blood is an easily obtainable source for a very special type of blood cell that has the potential for medical cures in the future. The chances of a child or a close relative using cord blood in the year 2004 or even in the future is very small, but there is hope that stem cells will have the potential to cure more and more conditions as science discovers them.
The cost of this service is initially quite expensive. The least expensive fee is $600 and can be as high as $1500. Annual storage fees then occur and range from $70 to $90. These fees are not covered by insurance to date. This blood will be stored for your child or family use and is legally your property. As such, it can be used only at the family’s discretion.
There is also a national cord blood registry currently in development that will be banking blood by donors that may someday be available to anyone that needs the stem cell treatment. The matching process for donor blood will be more difficult than blood from a direct family relative.
Below are links to the 4 of the larger laboratories that offer cord blood banking. Other labs are listed on the Internet, but are less well known. Some labs have better pricing options than others but we cannot recommend one company or predict the reliability of one lab over the other. The techniques for collection and storage used by each lab are slightly different and each is licensed by the states in which they reside.
Each lab will require that the services for collection be paid ahead of time. They will then mail a kit to your home that will be brought along at the time of delivery. The charge for the kits goes up if ordered at the last minute. We are happy to collect the sample at no charge and the hospital will usually assist in calling a courier service to ship the blood. Please let your physician know if you plan to collect cord blood by your 36-week visit.
Here are a few reputable companies that you might want to consider: