Banking Cord Blood - FAQs
Should I bank my baby's cord blood if my family has no history of cancer?
While cord blood stem cells have proven effective in treating many types of cancers, they have also been used to successfully treat many diseases and conditions unrelated to cancer. A family history of cancer or other diseases may not be known, but families who save their baby's cord blood understand that these conditions can occur without precedent and without warning.
How long can cord blood stem cells be stored?
Studies have shown that cord blood specimens that have been cryogenically preserved for a period of 15 years have the exact same biological composition as they did at the time of their initial preservation. All available scientific data suggests that cord blood stored at a constant temperature of -196 degrees Celsius should remain viable indefinitely.
I've already saved one child's cord blood. Is it important to save cord blood for all of my children?
Yes. Your baby's cord blood is an exact genetic match for your newborn and offers the very best chance of survival, with no risk of GVHD, should your newborn need a stem cell transplant. In the event that a doctor recommends a donor transplant, siblings are the preferred source. Separate storage is also recommended for multiple births (e.g., twins, triplets), as it maximizes the volume of cord blood collected.
If my family needs a transplant in the future, can I get stem cells from a public bank?
Possibly. However, when faced with a life-threatening disease or condition, you want to give your family the best chance of survival. Using your baby's own cord blood stem cells guarantees a perfect genetic match. When a donor transplant is recommended, siblings are the preferred donor source due to their likelihood of being a suitable HLA match. The odds of finding an unrelated HLA match from a public bank are very, very small.
Privately banking your baby's cord blood with MiracleCord ensures that your family will have this valuable resource available for transplant in a matter of days, without the costly, time-consuming and potentially unsuccessful search that is necessary when looking to a public bank.
What is the difference between public donation and private banking?
Public banks store unrelated cord blood units that are donated for transplant or research. There is no initial cost to the donor; however, the cost of retrieving a cord blood unit from a public bank currently costs patients over $50,000 at a time when family finances can already be strained.1 The unfortunate reality is that less than half of all donated cord blood samples will ever be stored for future transplant. The chance of finding a donor match from a public bank is very low.
Private banks store cord blood units for your family's future use. Private cord blood banking ensures that your baby's cord blood stem cells will be readily available, and will give your family the best chance for survival if a transplant is needed.
1 National Marrow Donor Program. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010-11-January from NMDP: University of Chicago: http://www.marrow.org/PATIENT/Plan_for_Tx/Choosing_a_TC/US_NMDP_Transplant_Centers/Detailed_Center_Information/tc_idx.pl?ctr_id=557
Will insurance cover cord blood banking?
Possibly. Depending on the terms of your individual or group policy, cord blood banking may be a covered service. Please contact your benefits administrator or insurance company for determination.
How soon should I enroll?
Though the decision to bank your baby's cord blood can be made any time before the birth of your baby, planning ahead has many advantages. Early enrollment ensures that your family has plenty of time to receive your MiracleCord StemCare™ thermal collection kit and to review the information provided within.
Since half of all babies are delivered prior to their expected due date, and 12% of all babies are born premature, families who enroll early avoid the risk of missing their only opportunity to bank their baby's cord blood.