How to Withdraw Stored Cord Blood
It may be the only kind of bank you put a deposit in hoping to never take it out. If you do need to use stored cord blood, here's how it works.
Zitlow reports that laboratory staff prep time costs about $150 to $250, depending on preparation time involved, and a daily rate is charged for the special shipping container ($150 per day).
Scaradavou says that the containers used to ship frozen cord blood are small and keep the sample frozen for five to seven days.
When the frozen cord blood reaches the medical facility where your child will receive the transplant, the staff there is specially trained to handle the blood until it’s time to transplant it. They thaw it very carefully. “If frozen and thawed properly, more than 90 percent of the stem cells should be viable for use,” says Zitlow.
The size of the cord blood transfusion is determined by the doctor who will be performing the transplant. Some variables that influence that decision include the following:
- What therapies have already been attempted
- What disease or condition the child has</li>
- The age and size of the child
- The closeness of the HLA match of the donor and recipient (sibling or parent)
Scaradavou reports that the New York Cord Blood Bank has 45,000 units, making it the single biggest storage facility. “We send units to the United States and internationally, and about 3,000 units have been transplanted—about 60 percent in children, 40 percent in adults),” says Scaradavou.
Private vs. Public
Unlike when you request cord blood released from a private bank, the cord blood saved through the National Cord Blood Program is not earmarked for you or your family. Instead, it is tested, typed, and entered into a search inventory for patients who need transplants.
If you store your baby’s cord blood at a private bank, it cannot be used by anyone else. “Samples stored at CBR (and other family banks) must be either used by the individual the sample came from or a family member (sibling or other relative),” explains Zitlow. “This is dictated by current regulatory guidelines.”
After you bank your child’s cord blood, you cannot choose to transfer it for donation to a public bank. Current regulatory guidelines prevent any sample stored in a family bank from being converted to a public sample, says Zitlow.
Only you can decide whether and how to store your child’s cord blood. But here is some reassurance: While no parent ever hopes to make a claim on that private biological insurance policy, the process of having the cord blood released and shipped might just be the easiest part of the situation.
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