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Cord blood is the blood found in the umbilical cord after a baby is born and is considered a source of adult stem cells which have the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. Cord blood is a great source of stem cells and decreases any need for embryonic stem cell research. There are two things that can be done with cord blood:
Cord blood can be used for transplants to treat diseases such as leukemia and other life-threatening medical conditions because of its plentiful blood-forming cells. This cord blood can be used to help others suffering from these conditions, as well as for one’s own family’s use if the cord blood is privately banked.
Donating Your Child’s Cord Blood
There is no cost if one chooses to donate the cord blood to a public bank. There are numerous hospitals located across the country that work with public banks, but none in Minnesota. There are still options available, however, if a mother is interested in donating her child’s cord blood. Cryobanks International (800.869.8608) is one example of an organization that accepts donations from anywhere in the continental United States.
Banking Your Child’s Cord Blood
There are certain costs associated with cord blood that is banked privately, usually a collection fee and annual fee every year thereafter. Costs vary greatly, and every private bank is different. However, the cost to privately bank tends to range from around $500- $2000 for processing/collection and approximately $100 annually for storage. The costs are always changing, and these target costs are only approximations. Cost depends largely on the bank chosen to store the cord blood. If interested in banking your child’s cord blood, Cryobanks International (800.869.8608) is just one example of an organization that also privately banks cord blood from anywhere in the continental United States.
For more information about umbilcal cord storage and cord blood banking, you might find Umbilical Cord Storage's Web site helpful. They have links to other related sites. We are hopeful that ongoing research in these areas will lead to many more treatments and cures.
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