How will storing Cord Blood help my Child?
Stem cells from cord blood are being used to transplant patients after treatment for a variety of cancers and blood diseases, and new therapies are being researched every day. More and more families are banking their newborns' cord blood because it contains stem cells that are genetically related to their families. Thus allowing them to preserve these unique stem cells for their own potential future use.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem Cells are an immortal cell that is able to produce all the cells within an organ. Stem cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune systems. They form the white cells that fight infection, red cells that carry oxygen throughout the body and platelets that promote healing. Stem cells are found in our bone marrow where they continue to generate cells throughout our lives. Scientists have discovered that the blood remaining in a baby's umbilical cord, which is typically discarded at birth, is a rich source of stem cells. Where are these stem cells taken from? The blood is taken from your baby's umbilical cord painlessly immediately after delivery. Why is storing my baby's cord blood stem cells so vital? The decision to store your baby's cord stem cells will afford your child the opportunity to take advantage of the rapidly evolving medical technology associated with stem cell therapies.
If ever necessary, cord stem cells can be an excellent allogeneic alternative for bone marrow transplants. Treatments involving radiation or chemotherapy often destroy the immune system. Cord blood stem cells have a number of important advantages over bone marrow or grafts from a syngeneic family member. Cord blood stem cells are easier to obtain than stem cells from bone marrow, and treatments using cord blood stem cells can be less costly than bone marrow transplants.
Additionally, the collection of cord blood is a quick, non-invasive and painless procedure with no risk to the mother or newborn. Cord stem cells have the added advantages of being available and already prepared for transplant if ever needed. More importantly, however, is the fact that cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for the child from whom they were collected, thus eliminating the difficult process of finding a matching donor and minimizing the risks of rejection. This is especially significant for ethnic minority populations who tend to be under-represented in the National Marrow Donor Program. Cord stem cells also have a 1-in-4 chance of being an exact cell match for a sibling. It is important to point out that having perfectly matching stem cells stored away for the child does not mean that they could be used to treat every single disease the child might contract.
Will my Insurance Company pay for this procedure?
Some Insurance plans do pay for taking Cord Blood. Call us to find out if your insurance is one of them. As cord blood collection has become more routine in hospitals and birthing centers, most Obstetricians and Midwives charge a fee for collecting the cord blood. A Patient Rebate allows your physician to bill for the procedure without additional financial burden to you.
Does the bank have affiliations with insurance companies and hospitals?
This means that the cord bank is actively working toward healthcare reimbursement and negotiated rates for consumers. It also means that their procedures are regularly reviewed by Hospitals and Insurance Companies, for quality and value.
What if I am an minority, or my child is adopted?
Families who are preparing to adopt a newborn now have the option to choose cord blood banking because, if ever needed,the cord blood may be the only genetically related source of stem cells for your child. Cryopreserving your newborn's umbilical cord blood stem cells could provide a potential medical benefit. This is especially important for ethnic minorities, which have been under-represented on the National Marrow Donor Program. Ethnic minorities and families of mixed ethnicity often have a greater degree of difficulty finding matching stem cell donors when needed, banking cord blood stem cells may provide benefit if you are among this population. Many genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia (Cooley's anemia) are more common in certain ethnic populations.
How does the blood get processed?
The blood is processed down to the stem cells, and is then frozen for long-term cryogenic storage. Stem cells are the building blocks of blood and the immune system. They differentiate, or reproduce, into other cells: red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body; white blood cells, which fight infections; and platelets, which are necessary for clotting. What If I am in a Fertility Treatment or In Vitro Pregnancy Program? Couples using fertility treatments and/or IVF may bank cord blood because they face the possibility of not having another opportunity to secure a genetically related sample for their families.