Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Pros And Cons
Before we begin, allow me to start that this article's sole intention is to provide an informed and entirely unbiased run-down of pros and cons related to cord blood banking, without judgement and certainly without endorsements of any kind. Though I do hope the information provided will empower you to make the right decision, no matter what you feel it is.
Cord blood banking is a modern practice which, rather than simply disposing of the released placenta, looks to preserve the umbilical cord blood because it can help saves lives down the road (both that of your child, as well as others). If you'd rather learn the medical and ethical ground-rules before beginning this article, you can find a fantastic overview on cord blood banking by following the provided link.
Still here? All set? Onwards!
- Options for Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Donation
Learn how cord blood may be donated to a public cord blood bank, stored in a family (private) bank, saved for a family member, or used for research studies.
Pros of Cord Blood Banking
- Cord blood banking is a harmless procedure. Contrary to what some claim, there are no consistent and evidence health risks. Some claim that clamping too soon can deprive the baby of iron, blood and oxygen, the truth is that clamping is delayed until after the cord has stopped pulsing, thus the collection itself has no consequences.
- Cord blood collection saves lives, and can greatly improve post-transplant success and quality of life in recipients. Here are a few reasons future transplantee may wish to thank you and your baby:
- Lower risk of viral infections which can be lethal to recipients (such as Epstein-Barr and cytomegalovirus)
- Lower incidence of graft vs. host disease. This is where the immune cells present in cord blood are less likely to harm the recipient's tissue.
- Drastically increased treatment availability due to the fact that a perfect match is not required.
- Stored cord blood is frozen and stored right-after the procedure meaning that in case of necessity it is ready to be used very quickly.
- Of course, a solid altrustic principle is not the only reason this procedure may be entirely beneficial, stem cells collected at birth may end up saving your own baby's life on day! (I'll discuss the odds of that later).
Cons of Cord Blood Banking
- Perhaps the greatest con is simply the fact that Private cord banking is usually expensive process. Not only is there a lump sump to pay regarding the procedure, ongoing storage fees can add up over time. Expect to pay in the range of $1000-$2000 for the first year of storage and the procedure. After that, storage becomes significantly less expensive, but an expense nevertheless.
- Almost of all debates of umbilical cord blood banking pros and cons will weigh of how much realistic use the storage will end up being with regards to your baby. Although the value of the procedure is invariably beneficial to others, spending thousands of dollars on something which is unlikely to directly help your own family may seem a bit steep. I have found that the the general consensus is a possibility of around 1:10,000.
- Despite the procedure incurring a small blood loss, many parents don't like depriving their child of anything.
- One cord only provides enough stem cells to treat a child or young adult.
- Ethical considerations regarding stem cell research may prevent some parents from considering the procedure.
The Weighing Scale
No matter where the scale tips, I hope this information has been of relative interest to you! At the very least, you'll know what questions to ask your doctors!
A brief reminder in lieu of our adieu, for those considering public cord banking, make sure to register before he 34th week of pregnancy.
Have a nice day!
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