How to Select a Cord Blood Bank
When selecting a cord blood bank, it’s smartest to search the Web to thoroughly research your choices, as well as pick up the phone, ask your relevant questions. Assuming that a company is properly accredited (but, don’t assume, make sure they are), some things to consider begin with longevity. Find out how long has each particular cord blood bank been in business. Some have a longer track record and have experience solely in cord blood banking. As with any business that’s successful, the amount of years in a specific business most often means that a company is successful. Therefore, financial stability and profitability are essential factors for your choice. If a company does not have the financial legs to sustain operations in the long-term, where does that leave you and your newborn’s stem cells? Choose a bank that is solid, with a track record of financial success.
In addition to length of time in business, find out how much experience each particular company has with providing samples for use in lifesaving medical transplants. There are still many cord blood banks that have yet to provide a single transplant sample and clearly don’t have the same experience as the others. Find out who has performed the most and then do a comparison. Also, ask about the viability of samples after they’ve been thawed. If the viability isn’t there, then the sample is useless.
There’s also the issue of location where your newborn’s stem cells will be stored. Many cord blood banks have their storage facilities close to their corporate headquarters, whereas one other, Cord Blood Registry, has strategically placed its lab in a location historically free from natural disasters and airport closures. This is actually a very important point to consider, especially in a scenario where you’ve chosen to bank with a certain company and when the time comes to ship your sample, a hurricane or snowstorm has shut down the airport. The question that begs is then, what exactly happens to your sample if it can’t even make it to the storage facility?
Lastly, there’s the issue of pricing. There are differences between the many cord blood banks out there; however, this is one area you may want to not place as great an emphasis on as some of the other factors. There is surely a minimum of costs involved that a cord blood bank must charge to meet the basic requirements of accreditation. There are also many of your own costs that accompany childbirth, and this is one that should be seriously considered. If you can’t afford an upfront, one-time payment, many cord blood banks offer low-interest financing. This can make the decision to choose a bank much easier, especially knowing that your special day is soon to arrive.