Jordanna Joaquina, MS, CGC  

Interests: Prenatal Genetics, Pediatric Genetics
Los Angeles, CA
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To Cord Blood Bank or Not to Cord Blank...That is the Question

Jun 24, 2009 - 5 comments



cord blood banking


public cord blood banking


private cord blood banking

Umbilical cord blood, which is typically discarded after birth, contains a large amount of blood stem cells. In recent years, cord blood stem cells have been successfully used in the treatment of certain cancers, bone marrow failure, hemoglobinopathies (i.e. sickle cell disease), immune diseases, and/or genetic metabolic conditions. Although the number of diseases treatable by cord blood transplantation will likely increase in the future, it is important to note that cord blood stem cells cannot be used in the treatment of many diseases.

Due to the potential benefits, some individuals choose to have their baby's cord blood collected, processed, frozen and stored - otherwise known as cord blood banking. There are two types of cord blood banking: private cord blood banking and public cord blood banking.

- Private cord blood banking involves storing a baby's cord blood for his/her own future use or for use by a family member if needed.

- Public cord blood banking (also called cord blood donating) involves donating a baby's cord blood so that it is available to anyone in need of a transplant and/or may be used for quality improvement or research purposes. Donated cord blood most likely cannot be retrieved for personal purposes.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) policy statement, "Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation," the AAP encourages public cord blood donation for use by other individuals in need (if banks are available in the area). Private cord blood banking for later personal or family use as a general "insurance policy" is discouraged by the AAP, as the chance of a child needing his/her own cord blood stem cells in the future ranges from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 200,000.

For more information about Cord Blood Banking, visit http://AccessDNA.com/condition/Cord_Blood_Banking/763

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Avatar universal
by VaBreeze, Jun 25, 2009
I believe this is a wonderful way to have a bit of insurance...as we have no idea what the future may bring.  It's amazing that something like this can be used to help others who are ill.  In my eyes, it's no different than becoming an organ donar.  

When I had an accident I was given the option of going to the bone bank or having one taken out of my hip...I chose the bone bank.  Were it not for this, I would have suffered more surgery, more time and more pain.  I'm so grateful for these medical advances and to those who care enough to donate.

Thank you for this article.

Avatar universal
by Jajaynl, Jun 26, 2009
I'm sorry Jordanna, but your odds ratio for lifetime use information is very outdated. The actual numbers are about 1 in 400 for autologous use (Nietfeld, 2008) and this does not even take into account that 95% of all samples released by private/family banks were used to treat siblings.

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by Jordanna Joaquina, MS, CGCBlank, Jun 26, 2009
Dear Jajaynl,

I believe you are referring to a study looking at the lifetime probability that an individual will have a hematopoietic stem cell transplant over the course of a lifetime. Hematopoietic stem cells are blood-forming stem cells such as those found in bone marrow or cord blood. The probability that a person will receive a hematopoietic stem cell transplant is somewhat different than the probability that a person will receive a cord blood transplant. Hope this helps clarify this topic.

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by alicat007, Jun 26, 2009
My daughter is having her first baby in Sept and she will donate her cord blood to the bank. Its the least that can be done to help another family who may be in need.

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by JenB12, Jun 26, 2009
Hi, Thanks for this info. VERY informative and interesting. My mother-in-law offered to have our children's cord blood privately banked, in the near future when we have kids. I don't know that much about the process but it sounds like a wonder advancement in medicinein. I hate the idea of being selfish with a resource that could benefit sick kids out there, but I'd hate to not have it if we end up needing it for our own kids. My questions are: How much of the cord is saved? It is possible to donate some and save some?



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