There’s a lot of misinformation out there about cord blood banking. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’re debunking the top 5 myths about cord blood banking that we’ve come across:
Myth #1: “I can’t collect cord blood and delay the clamping of the umbilical cord.”
FACT: Delayed cord clamping, following delivery, allows more blood to flow to the baby resulting in a smaller volume of collected cord blood.
Insception Lifebank’s experience is that clamping within 1-2 min provides opportunity for a suitable collection volume. Preterm infants may benefit from delayed cord clamping, however it remains debatable whether there is benefit for healthy full-term babies.18 It is best to discuss your options with your healthcare provider.
Myth #2: All cord blood banks are the same.
FACT: Like with any decision, finding the right bank requires research!
Most important is to find a cord bank with a great reputation and experience in releasing cord blood samples in case they are needed. Here are a few things to look out for when doing your homework:
- Number of cord blood units stored
- Number of units released for treatment
- How long they have been in business
- Does the company own its own storage facility?
- Highest level of accreditation (FACT and AABB)
- Offers cord blood and cord tissue banking
- Partnerships with hospitals across the country
Check out our handy Cord Blood Buying Guide to see how different cord blood programs compare.
Myth #3: Everyone can donate to a public bank, and if you need your sample, you can always get it back.
FACT: In Canada, there are several family cord blood banks to choose from and limited options for public banking.
Canadian Blood Services started to accept anonymous donations from women delivering at the Ottawa Civic and General Hospitals in 2013 and will open the following collection sites in mid 2014:
- William Osler Health System (Brampton, ON)
- Lois Hole Hospital for Women (Edmonton, AB)
- BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre (Vancouver, BC)
If you do not plan on delivering at one of the hospitals listed above, you will not be able to donate to the National Public Cord Bank. Also, since donated units are listed on an international registry, they may not be available for your family if a medical need arises.
Follow the link to see how your options differ when deciding between family or public cord banking.
Myth #4: Doctors would never use a child’s own cord blood to treat them since it would contain the disease requiring treatment.
FACT: In April 2001, 9 month-old Jesse Farquharson became the first Canadian to receive an autologous cord blood stem cell transplant.
Jesse was being treated for retinoblastoma (eye cancer) that had spread to his spinal cord. His parents’ decision to preserve his cord blood stem cells at birth provided him with his best chance for survival.
Numerous stem cell transplants using one’s own cells (autologous stem cell transplants) are performed every year for diseases and cancers, such as, lymphoma, myeloma, and many other types of solid tumors.
*For diseases such as leukemia, the preference would be from a sibling (related allogeneic) that is a suitable match.
Myth #5: “Odds are that my baby will never need the cord blood banked for them. Because of this, people shouldn’t bother banking cord blood.”
FACT: With the ever-growing list of potential uses and research, the possibility of your family benefiting from a cord blood stem cell transplant also increases. Cord blood is an acceptable source of stem cells worldwide. Current research shows that there may be up to a 1:200 chance that you or a family member will benefit from a stem cell transplant in your lifetime.17
There we are — five cord blood myths, debunked!
Have more questions? We’re here to answer them! Feel free to get in touch by email or give us a call (1-866-606-2790), we’d love to chat with you.