Blood Cord Bank: Cord Blood Accreditation
by Hope Ocampo
If you have decided that you want to store the blood from your baby's
umbilical cord it is an important step to compare cord blood banks in a bid to make sure that you select the correct organization.
You would be forgiven for thinking that all of the organizations offer the same things, but some companies offer more than other companies. There are a number of things you should consider before making the all-important final decision; these factors include accreditation, experience, knowledge and financial security. This choice, though, is one pro of stem cells and the research being conducted on them. When you begin to compare cord blood banks one of the first things you may notice is that some of them are accredited while others are not. Accreditation is voluntary but being accredited by the AABB means that the company you are considering has high standards with regards to most of the factors you will look at yourself.
The use of stem cell transplants is quite a new technique, however, successful cord blood transfusions have taken place and this means that there are organizations that have successfully stored and eventually used the cord blood in question. It may seem unfair to judge a company just because they haven't had the opportunity to prove that there systems, technique and facilities are up to scratch but the fact remains that if your child needs the use of their cord blood in ten years time you want to be absolutely certain that the company you have entrusted with this will be able to unfreeze the blood and find that it has retained it's potency. Some of the well established companies have 100% success rates with tens of previous cases. This is a statistic not be taken lightly.
One factor that you might overlook when trying to compare cord blood banks is whether the company in question dedicate any or enough money to funding further research. In the case of many banks, funding is primarily used to research advances in storage techniques and the techniques in which the blood is transported and prepared for use. If a company does not invest enough money in this then they will eventually be left behind by the companies that do. Inevitably it is you, or indeed your children, who will suffer the consequences.
When investing time, money or your children's cord blood in a company it is important that that company will still be in operation should the day arrive when you need the blood in question. If a company fails financially while your baby's blood is stored in their facility then there is a reasonable chance that you will not be able to do anything about moving the blood. Once cord blood goes into storage it should not be removed and transported from location to location if it is at all possible to avoid this. You will be storing the umbilical cord blood for up to 15 years, and that's only presuming that no further advances are made, so you need to be as sure as possible that the company will still be in operation in 15 years time.
By selecting a company that is affiliated to a large hospital or other organization you can afford yourself greater peace of mind that they will indeed still be around when the time comes to use the blood you have in storage. Many major hospitals do affiliate with some of the more famous and well established cord blood banks and for true peace of mind you should consider using one of these companies. This also offers you the benefit that that hospital in question will be willing to undertake a transfusion using that blood.
Donating cord blood.
Of course, money plays a part in any major decision of this kind and, unfortunately, it isn't always possible to pick the company you would ideally settle on in other circumstances. In fact, the cost may add up to prove to be more than you can afford. In which case, you should not feel guilty about it, but you should instead consider donating the cord blood.
For more information on blood cord banking, please visit cord blood banking.
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