Selecting a bank for cord blood storage is not a matter you should take lightly. After all, if you are taking out a long term ‘insurance policy’ you should be confident of the quality and viability of the private cord blood bank you use. Here are a few pointers on the types of questions you could ask when making your decision about cord blood banking.
Does the bank make a profit? Cord blood stem cell banking is an expensive proposition and the costs of cord blood banking is a fair amount. You would obviously not be keen to place your cord blood with a bank that may go bust or is cutting corners to survive. Financial health will only come from quality and happy customers.
Duration in business – Agreed, all businesses have to make a start but the longer a cord blood storage bank has been in business, the better its procedures would have become. Therefore, looking for a track record of the cord blood bank will certainly help.
Check out the infrastructure – A number of cord blood banks are actually only marketing the service. Make sure that the bank you select has a back end operation as well like cord blood collection and storage and that the services they offer are fully under their control.
How many successful transplants have they done? The proof of the pudding ultimately lies in the eating. You must check out the number of cord blood transplants that have been successfully been accomplished using the blood that is banked in the private cord blood bank you are considering. Perhaps even more illustrative is the number of transplants that have not been successful. Check out the web sites to see if there is any feedback from actual users.
When you have checked out the above factors, it is time to check the costs. You can then use a spreadsheet to determine what the service actually costs you over time. A number of schemes are available and payments can be spread over several years to help make it easier for parents to avail the service.
Another pertinent question to ask is whether the cord blood storage bank stores its blood in vials or in bags. There are advantages to both and you might want to consider these as well. Storing blood in bags means it is stored in the same container in which is it extracted. This reduces chances of contamination due to reduced handling. Storing the cord blood in smaller lots also helps because you can then use some while continuing to bank the remaining quantity.
Choosing a private cord blood bank is not something you do everyday. Take the time to get to know more about issues like cord blood storage and the success rate of the cord blood transplants so that you make an informed choice.
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