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Newborn babies’ umbilical cords contain stem cells that might be able to treat blood diseases or immune system disorders. Research has been conducted to see whether these stem cells might be able to treat other health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and cerebral palsy. Many people choose to store cord blood in cord blood banks, either public or private, for possible future uses. There are many different types of cord blood banking costs, especially if the umbilical cord is stored in a private bank. These costs include initial fees, such as those for enrollment and the collection of the cord blood, and annual storage fees.
Each cord blood bank has different fees, but most cord blood banking costs are in similar price ranges. The most expensive portion of the procedure is the initial fee. The initial fees typically include a bank enrollment fee, collection fees and the storage fee for the first year.
Enrollment with a specific private cord blood bank might occur online or over the telephone. It generally consists of both the mother and father completing health and medical history questionnaires as well as registering with the bank. After the registration is complete, the bank sends a collection kit to the expecting parents.
The parents bring the collection kit to the hospital for the newborn’s delivery. There are three main ways of collecting the cord blood, and the method typically affects the cord blood banking costs. The most cost-efficient method is the gravity method, which allows the cord blood to drip out on its own. The second most cost-efficient method is the syringe method. This method involves the delivering doctor pulling the cord blood out with a syringe, and it typically yields a higher volume of blood than the gravity method.
The third collection method, which usually has the most expensive cord blood banking costs, is the active flow chamber method. This collection method is a hybrid of the other two methods, and it first places the cord into a collection bag. The delivering doctor then uses a syringe and squeezing movements to continue emptying blood out of the cord, even when the natural blood flow stops.
No matter the collection method, the cord blood is then stored in a bag and sent to the cord blood bank for processing. The actual processing procedure is often the most extensive part of cord blood banking and the reason why cord blood banking can be expensive. At this point, the stem cells are extracted from the rest of the blood material and then stored in a sealed, cryogenic bag.
After the initial procedure and fees, most private banks charge a nominal annual fee to store the cord blood. When the newborn turns 18 years old, the contract is redone, because the bank needs the new adult’s permission to continue storing the cord blood. Most private cord blood banks charge an annual fee for as long as the blood is stored. Some private banks offer prepaid plans as well as payment plans to make the procedure more accessible to people who cannot afford the expensive initial fee.
There are no cord blood banking costs for people who donate their infant’s cord blood to public cord blood banks. When a person donates his or her infant’s cord blood to a public bank, he or she gives up all rights to it. If a person wants to access cord blood from a public bank, he or she must pay very expensive fees. These fees can cost between 10 to 12 times as much as the initial private cord blood banking costs.
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