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Ask Slashdot: Store Umbilical Cord Blood — and If So, Where? 321

Posted by timothy
from the freezer-at-the-overlook-hotel-is-good dept.
gambit3 writes "My wife and I are expecting our first child in 3 months, and one of the decisions we still have to make is whether to store our baby's cord blood. Even if we decide the upfront cost is worth it, there is still the question of using a public bank or a private one (and which one to trust), and whether to also store umbilical cord tissue for stem cells. Does you have any experience or suggestions?"
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Ask Slashdot: Store Umbilical Cord Blood — and If So, Where?

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  • by Zondar (32904) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:43PM (#39512565)

    I think their website is www.cordblood.com

    You pay an up-front fee for the collection and first year storage, and a smaller fee each year for storage.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We used CBR as well. They used to have a program where you could pay for 18 years up front (pricey, but paid off for a while). I did a very small amount of research, and CBR seemed "big enough" to trust to be in business years from now.

      As someone mentioned earlier - donation is cheaper (or free). I was thinking that route, but we have a medical issues in the family so it might come in handy in the future (never know what they might use it for in the future).

    • by DragonTHC (208439) <DragonNO@SPAMgamerslastwill.com> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:51PM (#39513651) Homepage Journal

      we used CBR for both our children. It's $1800 for collection and the first year.

      each year is $125 or you could pay off all 18 years up front.

    • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @04:16PM (#39514779)
      Note that: "Our state-of-the-art technology is backed by a $50,000 quality service guarantee that your baby's stem cells will engraft if they are ever needed for transplant."

      However the number of likely candidates for cord blood treatment is extremely small (pretty much all experimental and not FDA approved these days). Crop the number of bank withdraws they're likely to receive (very few) by the price they charge per deposit (roughly $2k), and that's not much of a guarantee by the measure of mouth-where-the-money-is. Now if that's a measure of their confidence for a life saving treatment... you might want to double think.

      Secondly, there isn't a single word in their FAQ about the repository technology they are using. Are they storing the cells in -80 freezers or in LN2? What are the stats on half-life and other successful viability studies? Where are the links to successful case studies of cord blood stem cell treatment? They have research links, but most are either still animal studies or non-cord stem cell therapies.

      The point is, they might have a great thing here, but at the moment they're selling vaporware. Sure, it may eventually come out just like Duke Nukem Forever, but it may not be released in time for your child. There's plenty of evidence that most of the stem-cell treatments out there are possible with donor registries (e.g. like bone marrow) or even adult tissue (not even stem cells - I was just at a conference last week where I saw a video of a modified inkjet print out a heart seeded with a patients own heart tissue). The fliers these type of businesses get the hospital and OB/GYN to hand out has a core message of: "it'll be your fault if your baby gets sick and dies if you don't give us a lot of money right now." It's surrounded by fluffy baby graphic design, but their business model should raise a few ethical eyebrows.

      Of course who knows - they might be right. Maybe someone will someday invent a way to use cord blood with today's harvesting techniques (note that the FAQ doesn't say anything about sample freezing until it's already been through the mail) and your baby will die without it... no pressure, right?

      Now on the flip side, I do know people in the repository business and they think this sort of thing has potential to work, but there's already plenty of argument to that effect around here today - so I thought I'd point out the other questions which should be asked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:43PM (#39512573)

    Methods are known that can prevent the reproductive process in humans.

  • Oh really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:44PM (#39512587)

    So, this "wife" of yours supposedly had "sex" with you? Whatever! What next mods? Are we going to get stories about Slashdot posters getting tired of their supermodel girlfriends interrupting their Battlefield 3 matches?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:05PM (#39512959)

      Wait, your supermodel girlfriend doesn't play Battlefield 3? You gotta dump that bitch.

      • by Dareth (47614)

        So if your hypothetical supermodel girlfriend does play Battlefield 3 with you, who "OWNS" who?

        My non-hypothetical non-supermodel wife is a descent player of Ultimate Mortal Kombat. Though I do think Sonya's leg grab is ultra cheesy!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Marrying an XBox is still illegal in 49 states.Still legal in Alabama, if she converts to Christianity first.

    • by Talderas (1212466)

      I have an outstanding deal with my supermodel girlfriend. We bother consider knife kills to be the ultimate ownage. Any time one of us gets a knife kill on the other we have to give oral.

  • Public (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:44PM (#39512601)

    The chance that someone else is going to need your cord blood is way, way higher than the chance that you'll need it for your own family. Give it to the public bank.

    Plus, the private banks are damned expensive.

    • Re:Public (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xyzzy42 (740215) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:59PM (#39512851)
      Exactly. This is why my wife and I decided to donate our children's cord blood. Keep in mind that your OB might charge to collect the cord blood (ours did). Many OB's will waive their cord blood fee for donations, but not for private banking.
    • Re:Public (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:19PM (#39513143)

      0.25% lifetime probability that your kid will ever need it in their entire lifetime. The math just doesn't work out to make it worth it (IMO) to collect it for their own use, especially given that there are many circumstances where peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow could be used just as easily and harvested when needed (cutting down that 0.25% even further).

      • by arth1 (260657)

        Indeed. With $1800 in initial costs and $125 per year after that, you pay $3925 for the first 18 years.
        You'll have much better odds by going to a casino and placing that money on a single roulette number. Then you'd get $141300, which likely would do a lot more good for the kid.

      • Re:Public (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dahamma (304068) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @05:22PM (#39515619)

        Yeah, here's a great scam idea:

        1. take $4000 from each customer
        2. toss the tissue in a cheap walk in frreezer
        3. when a customer actually needs it, apologize that there was an equipment malfunction, and give them their money back (hell, give them a 10x their money back guarantee - preferably in a contract that waives other legal recourse)
        4. disgruntled customer gives service a bad review. That still means 99.75% (probably way *less* than 0.25% would ever use it, but let's be generous) of your customers are "happy", which is pretty damn good customer satisfaction!

        Except for possibly #2, this sounds surprisingly close to the business plans of the nominally legitimate companies doing this. And even if they are reputable, who's to say a private company will last for 18 years in what seems like a bit of a scam in the first place. I agree with other posters - donate it to a reputable non-profit service and keep the money for something useful.

    • Re:Public (Score:5, Informative)

      by Reapy (688651) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @03:03PM (#39513799)

      If we knew we could have donated at no cost and someone could have used it, my wife and I most likely would have done so. To me the whole thing seemed sort of like a big rip off, or something I'd do if I had excess money laying around. They like to gouge you for a lot of stuff involving your kids, its easy to whip people up into a panic about doing EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN TO PREVENT EVERYTHING.

      Either way it feels a shame that it could have been used to help someone instead of it ending up as a puddle on the floor. I guess part of the reason I didn't save it is that there wasn't an urge to collect it if we weren't going to ourselves. If it was that precious hospitals would most likely not let it go to waste.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        If we knew we could have donated at no cost and someone could have used it, my wife and I most likely would have done so. To me the whole thing seemed sort of like a big rip off, or something I'd do if I had excess money laying around. They like to gouge you for a lot of stuff involving your kids, its easy to whip people up into a panic about doing EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN TO PREVENT EVERYTHING.

        Either way it feels a shame that it could have been used to help someone instead of it ending up as a puddle on the floor. I guess part of the reason I didn't save it is that there wasn't an urge to collect it if we weren't going to ourselves. If it was that precious hospitals would most likely not let it go to waste.

        Lord why did my modpoints expire yesterday... This a thousand times! Unless you have a family history of diseases that could *possibly* have a cord-blood style treatment then you are better off just putting all that money into getting more life insurance, odds are better that you and/or your wife will die before your kid hits 18 and I bet they would much rather have a safety cushion to get through college than some frozen blob of bloody tissue that is both unlikely to be needed and if needed unlikely to w

    • It turns out that banking cord blood is really expensive, and you'll almost certainly never need it. We decided it wasn't worth it and donated the blood.
  • by martiniturbide (1203660) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:47PM (#39512649) Homepage Journal
    I used Cryo-cell, since they provide this service in Ecuador. As a company it seems very serious and active, but I had never used the stored cells. I really don't know how well the company will respond once you need it.
  • by Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:48PM (#39512659)
    ...store it in the cloud.
    • Awesome. :D

    • ...store it in the cloud.

      No, this is SLASHDOT. You need to find a storage bank that uses only GPL-licensed software and accepts payment in BitCoins.

      They might store your cord blood in open buckets at room temperature - but you need to get your priorities straight!

    • I don't like all this cloud malarky, as well as running my own email server and every other kind of server I keep umbilical cord blood in the freezer - bottom drawer.

      It also means I get more value out of my comprehensive backup power-generating system (several UPS and a few generators, solar panels). Don't be fooled by cheap outsourced blood storage, they make their money by virtualising an instance of your child based on their DNA so they can predict well ahead of time which products they'll be interes
      • Yeah, I mean we all have liquid nitrogen cooled Core I7's running at 5 Ghz. Just add a branch off of that to keep the kids blood cold. Rig up a an adrino temperture monitoring rig that reports over nagios and call it a day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:49PM (#39512681)

    http://marrow.org/Get_Involved/Donate_Cord_Blood/Donate_Cord_Blood.aspx

    • We donated the cord blood from both our kids.

      When your kid has a 1 in 400 chance of needing it themselves even ONCE in their entire lifetime...well, I'd rather help someone in need.

  • Donate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Elyas (59360) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:49PM (#39512687)

    The scientific benefits are still uncertain, and the statistics as to whether your child would need it are pretty low. Better to donate, save your money, and increase the odds that someone will be helped

  • by astrostl (2524450) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:50PM (#39512707)
    That's what we did with our first child, and will do with our second. In addition to the costs associated, banking it is a what-if scenario, and adult stem cells are already starting to show promise. We expect no problems justifying it to ourselves or our kids IF they develop some sort of problem AND first-party cord-blood treatment is the best or only solution for it: we're choosing to help people now, as opposed to potentially helping person later. If the efficacy situation were more apparent to us now, it would be a closer decision.
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:55PM (#39512779) Homepage

      You would be better off buying lottery tickets for your kids with the money that you're spending. At least there is a chance it could be used for something.

      If you really feel the need to do this, use a public registry that uses the cord blood for real research, not a private company that's just hoping you will pay them every month.

      • by CatsupBoy (825578)

        You would be better off buying lottery tickets for your kids with the money that you're spending. At least there is a chance it could be used for something.

        Consider that the cost of harvesting cord blood is about $1,500 and storing it per year is about $100. For 18 years you spend $3,300 or 1,100 powerball tickets.

        Odds of winning the powerball are 1,100 to 195,249,054 (0.0000056%)
        Odds of being afflicted with type 1 diabetes and being a part of a case study [clinicaltrials.gov]: 8 in 100,000 (0.00008%)

        So actually, you have better odds of actually needing and using your cord blood. Although, as many have suggested, donating is a noble option too.

        • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @03:18PM (#39514015) Homepage Journal

          You would be better off buying lottery tickets for your kids with the money that you're spending. At least there is a chance it could be used for something.

          Consider that the cost of harvesting cord blood is about $1,500 and storing it per year is about $100. For 18 years you spend $3,300 or 1,100 powerball tickets.

          Odds of winning the powerball are 1,100 to 195,249,054 (0.0000056%)

          Odds of being afflicted with type 1 diabetes and being a part of a case study [clinicaltrials.gov]: 8 in 100,000 (0.00008%)

          So actually, you have better odds of actually needing and using your cord blood. Although, as many have suggested, donating is a noble option too.

          You forgot to roll in there the odds of successful cord blood treatment of your type 1 diabetes...

        • by crumley (12964) *
          Yeah, but the GP post didn't saying anything about winning the jackpot. With 1100 Powerball tickets, you also have a 1100 in 648,975.96 of winning $10,000, and 1100 in in 5,153,632.65 chance of winning one million dollars. Plus higher chances of winning less money (but not winning back you "investment"). Those odds are worth considering.
  • ViaCord (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcaldwel (935913) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:54PM (#39512763)
    My son was born a little over a year ago, and I selected ViaCord [viacord.com] as a cord blood bank. We evaluated a few, and they seemed to be more competent than other options. It's important to get the "collection kit" up front, and have it with you in the hospital... at least in my case, the hospital does not provide any of the supplies. Also, your wife will need to make sure that the OB/GYN is aware ahead of time about your decision to store the blood.
  • People do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nukenbar (215420) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:55PM (#39512771)

    As someone without children, WTF are you all talking about and why do people do this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I actually just saw a special about this, it has something to do with stem cells and if there is a issue later in life, the blood can be used as treatment, much better than donor blood and 100% compatible (because it their own blood)
    • Re:People do this? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:23PM (#39513201) Homepage Journal
      Basically, if some stem cell research pans out then you might need some of your own stem cells later in life to actually use it. While there is currently no use for cord blood, the thinking is that in 60 years it might be really useful, and that's when your kid may need it. It's impossible to say what new medical procedures will be available in 60 years, so the whole thing is a gamble. Heck, even if the medical procedures pan out, they may not have a good way of reversing the freezing damage on the cells.

      It's something for optimists with some extra disposable income. There are some pretty sketchy looking cord blood companies out there however, so do your research. Since nobody is making withdrawals from these banks yet, it's hard to tell which ones are real and which ones are scams/incompetent.
      • Re:People do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:35PM (#39513399)

        No, in fact, your cord blood will be irretrievably damaged after a couple years in the freezer.

        There is not a minute chance that putting your cord blood in a private bank will serve any purpose except make the bastards rich. There is none. There is never enough blood that a single cord suffices. The private banks are a scam of epic proportion.

        If you want to do good, you should just donate the cord blood to science. It is a valuable resource for people studying stem cells. And these are the people from whom you will eventually benefit: their research will come back to you in the form of better treatments, or perhaps simply better understanding of biology, which will lead to better treatments.

        A lot of people prefer that the cord bloods end up in the trash can rather than being used in science. Because they are afraid that researchers will put the cells into mice or something. Which of course is exactly what they do, because it is necessary to understand how stem cells behave in living organisms. And the benefits are enormous for everyone.

        TL;DR : public bank if you really want to. Research is a much better use for it at this point.

        • Re:People do this? (Score:4, Informative)

          by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:45PM (#39513573) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, I personally group those companies down with the "freeze your body and in 100 years they'll have the cures for old age and for freezing and you'll be revived in the future!" places. The advantage is that since you're paying them year after year they will have the operating budget to actually keep running long enough to be useful, unlike those body places that typically run out of money and then just dump the bodies out back. You have to be outrageously optimistic to think that it will pan out though.
        • Re:People do this? (Score:4, Informative)

          by compro01 (777531) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @03:02PM (#39513783)

          No, in fact, your cord blood will be irretrievably damaged after a couple years in the freezer.

          Depends on how you define "a couple years". According to Canadian Blood Services (who run the Canadian public cord blood bank), cord blood stem cell transplants after 13 years of storage showed no deterioration in efficacy, though longer term data isn't available yet.

    • Re:People do this? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Derkec (463377) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:27PM (#39513285)

      I believe Cord stem cells are rather "pure" stem cells that are very undifferentiated. Making them ideal for a handful of medical procedures and unspecified future medical procedures that may be created. Generally, this nifty resource is lost right after birth (it's thrown away). So some companies have been created to store them, and provide them to you (or others if donated) in the case one of those rare procedures is required.

      If I recall correctly, you're looking at $500-$1000 to get things going, and a 50-100 annual fee to maintain. This falls under the broader cateogory of stuff sold under the banner of, "You love your baby right? You'd do anything to protect it? Right? You're not a callous evil person."

    • by dissy (172727)

      You know how when you build out a storage server with a crap load of hard drives, you generally get one or two extra drives of the same capacity to sit on a shelf as spares? That way when a drive dies you can pop in the spare and let the RAID do its thing without losing data while waiting on a part to be shipped.

      Pretty much the same thing. Only this is backup spare components for the human body!

      Just like we dread the feeling of placing a hard drive order for your degraded array, only to discover they are

    • by gox (1595435)

      I did it for my first kid but not the second one. Paid around 2000 EUR for 20 years of preservation. They split the harvested stem cells and sent them to vaults in different countries to be frozen. However, they kept it in a shelf for three days after birth and then sent it through DHL, so I'm not quite sure how successful they were in harvesting them.

      They usually advertise it as a potential cure for early leukemia (stem cells harvested this way are too few to be helpful if the patient is not a baby), but m

  • Not Worth It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weszz (710261) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:58PM (#39512841)

    I'd say not worth it...

    I have a 2.5 (mine) and a 1.5 year old (foster child) and to me if you would need this I think they would probably have an indication of it before the kid is born. Things are so far along these days with the 4d ultrasounds and such...

    Enjoy fatherhood. every 6 months they get more fun with the first 6 month being more of a family pet than a real person. Now at 2.5 years we are running around the backyard having squirt gun fights and she is coming up with all kinds of crazy views on the world. It goes quickly...

    But yea, if you and the wife are healthy and she took care of herself the past number of months, the chances of ever needing it are very low.

    • Agree with the above. But the cord blood outfits work very hard to make you feel as if you don't love your child enough if you don't do this. Enjoy. two years, was a blast, three was a blast...six now and I've recently been told that I am annoying and evil by my progeny...so she is learning. be sure to teach them to swim!
    • by dissy (172727)

      I have a 2.5 (mine) and a 1.5 year old (foster child) and to me if you would need this I think they would probably have an indication of it before the kid is born

      The state of the art in organ printing requires both stem cells and cells from a damaged organ to re-grow. This is insanely useful (or will be soon anyway) for accidental injury later in life as well.

      Imagine getting replacement lungs, a new heart, and another kidney or two, all after age 40.
      Especially so if those replacements are required due to say a horrible car accident or something. Those are still a little bit hard to detect with an ultrasound before birth ;}

      Imagine where this technology will be 20 y

  • the tech will exist to derive stem cells from an adult

    so you don't need it

  • We used ViaCord (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doofus (43075) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:00PM (#39512875)
    We used ViaCord [viacord.com] for our first, and will be using them for our second. Similar to other services, you pay a collection fee (blood approx $1500, blood+tissue approx $2700) and then a small annual fee for storage.

    It remains unclear to me that cord-tissue preservation will be worth the gamble; the option wasn't available several years ago for our first, but is now. We are debating about whether the extra cost is worthwhile, considering no studies have demonstrated effective therapies using cryo-preserved cord tissue.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Enjoy the adventure with the new one.
    • Re:We used ViaCord (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#39513449)

      Sorry, but you have been scammed. You will never have the opportunity to use the cord: the freezer will make it unusable in a couple years. Also, in the rare cases where it would serve, the reality is that a single cord is rarely enough in any case. It is far better to give the cord to a public bank or simply donate it to science.

      Researchers need your cord blood: it is an extremely valuable resource to them, and can essentially do no good for you.

  • The cord blood banking industry is right on the border between speculative medicine and outright scam. It's insanely profitable, which is why every doctor's office is littered with pamphlets for competing cord blood banks.

    There's a vanishingly small likelihood that your child will have some otherwise untreatable disease that the cord blood will help with. Most of the things they say cord blood can help with (like genetic defects) actually wont help your child, since the cord blood has the same faulty genetics. The banks also tout the potential for cord blood use in future therapies. However, it's likely that any treatment that uses cord blood would be just as effective using stem cells.

    So what are you banking, in this case? I have no idea. The cord blood might be helpful for your next child, I guess.

    Another thing to keep in mind is in order to harvest the cord blood, you have to cut the cord before it stops pulsating (that is, before all the blood in the cord has reached the baby). There's a growing body of evidence that your baby benefits from this blood, and the cord should be left intact. So banking your baby's cord blood may actually harm your child. Of course, whatever the effect it's unlikely life threatening, but it does seem unnecessary.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      The industry will try and find any way they can to suck money out of people. Even if you do buy into this, and some day you need it, they'll tell you there was a problem with the blood, or it will cost a fortune to use it. I'd be interested to know how many people actually benefited from this.
    • by Mathieu Lutfy (69)

      Agreed. Private cord banks are pure scam, abusing of vulnerable parents who do not want to take any risks ("a small price to pay for peace of mind").

      Public cord banks, on the other hand, save lives. Stem cells can be taken from a donor, not just from umbelical cords. Hema Quebec [hema-quebec.qc.ca] is a good example of an efficient public bank, imho.

      Not to mention that it is unlikely that a single umbelical cord would be enough to save a life. A person under 50kg may require up to the equivalent of 3 or 4 umbelical cords. (ref [radio-canada.ca]

    • Storing cord blood is a good idea if the kid is a mixed race since it is most harder to find a stem cell match.

      The use of cord blood still only good enough to be used when a kid is below 80 lbs for stem cell transplants and even that isn't ideal. For treating cancer, an autologous transplant has a higher chance of relapse compared getting it donated from someone else.

    • you have to cut the cord before it stops pulsating (that is, before all the blood in the cord has reached the baby). There's a growing body of evidence that your baby benefits from this blood, and the cord should be left intact.

      Dumping all that blood into the kid also increases the risk of jaundice. Untreated jaundice = brain damage.

  • WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:02PM (#39512897)

    Seriously WTF!?!?!?

    I've gone through the birth of all five of my children and I've never contemplated anything close to this. Once I pay the hospital bill the birth process is over.. Next!

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:11PM (#39513039)

      [...]of all five of my children[...]

      Once I pay the hospital bill the birth process is over.. Next!

      Next ? You might wanna slow down after 5 you know

  • Is this a thing now?...

  • by gus goose (306978) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:06PM (#39512967) Journal

    ... for both our kids. We decided to 'donate' the cord blood (was free, and then you get 'preferential' access later if you happen to need some from the 'bank' later).

    Turns out our kids were both born on Sunday evenings, and they do not collect blood on Sundays.....

    Now I read all sorts of things about keeping the umbilical cord 'whole' for longer helps with anaemia... i.e. letting the cord 'drain' for longer is better for the baby. There's debate about how long the draining should take, but, it precludes the donation of the core blood.

    If I were to be doing it again (and I'm not planning to...), I would talk with the O/B and delay the cutting of the cord for a few more minutes, and then forgo the donation of the blood entirely.

    The prospects of tangible short-term benefits far outweighs the unlikely need for obscure treatments at some uncertain point in the future from some company that may or may not be around when you need them, and they may or may not have destroyed your tissues anyway, for a condition that may (at that time) be curable without cord blood anyway.

    gus

    • by gus goose (306978)

      Here's a reference:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22089242 [nih.gov]
      search for "umbilical anaemia"

    • The current wisdom is to wait until the cord stops pulsing (that is, is no longer connected to the baby's or the mother's blood supply) before clamping and cutting. It seems to make sense - the pulsing indicates that it's "in use".

      Frankly, the whole cord blood seems like a scam to me. It doesn't do any good at the moment, and any suggestions that it eventually will are hand-wavey at best. Add in the large ongoing costs (and substantially larger initial costs), and the implied emotional argument of "you're b

    • You still should donate. The cord blood is a very precious resource for researchers. And it is very unlikely that delaying the cutting of the cord will make any measurable difference.

    • by LanMan04 (790429)

      Now I read all sorts of things about keeping the umbilical cord 'whole' for longer helps with anaemia... i.e. letting the cord 'drain' for longer is better for the baby

      Unless you suspect the baby will be anemic, I'd recommend against draining all that blood into baby. Increases the risk of jaundice! Jaundice, if not detected/treated, = brain damage.

  • Public over private (Score:3, Informative)

    by juz (922469) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:08PM (#39512991) Homepage
    We looked into this for our first kid. My wife is an anesthesiologist so has some idea about this. What we found (at least for Australia in 2006) was: - a public bank service is better than storing an individual's blood. Stem cells are exciting medically because they don't have the same sorts of matching requirements that blood and organs do - there were trust issues withe private operators
  • College (Score:3, Interesting)

    by denbesten (63853) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:08PM (#39512999)

    Take the money you would have spent on this and putit into a college fund. Odds of seeing a return on your investment are much greater.

  • by Whorhay (1319089) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:10PM (#39513023)

    Seriously, donate it to your own child at their birth. Read up on the benefits of delayed cord clamping. The only situation that I've heard of where it's not worth it is where an emergency arises during the birth that requires the child and mother be seperated ASAP to safe a life. The umbilical cord and placenta contain a significant amount of blood which is the childs. Clamping and severing the cord immediately can basically make the child anemic right off the bat. It only takes a few minutes for the cord to finish transfering that blood to the child, so give it some time. It may also be possible to still harvest the cord for storage or donation but I'm not sure.

    Anyways google "delayed umbilical cord clamping"

    • by LanMan04 (790429)

      Google "Jaundice", which can be a result of dumping too much blood into the kid. Unless you think the baby will be anemic, I'd recommend against it.

  • by beberly37 (1236914) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:12PM (#39513051)
    When a baby is born, blood continues to flow through the cord for a while giving the baby much needed nutrients. It is common practice for midwifes. Baby comes out, goes straight to mama's bare chest for skin-to-skin heat transfer and up-close pheromones (leaving the naturally protective goo). In a minute or so the chord goes from bright full-of-blood colored to dull gray and empty and it no longer pulses. Clamp and cut the chord then. We did this with our now 7 month old, she was back up to birth weight at the three day check up.
  • My wife and I got a bunch of that crap when we had our kids. We didn't know what to make of it so we asked her OBGYN and basically got that they were all scams as there aren't treatments that have been developed that use it and the chances that your child might benefit from any treatment developed using it are slim to none (another poster mentioned that you would be better off buying lottery tickets with that money and giving them to the child). Also as another poster mentioned it is amazing how many pamphl
  • There is zero solid evidence that stored cord blood is useful for anything now. It is a waste of money to store.

    Could it be of use in the future? Doubtful - any kind of real stem cell treatments are 10-20 years away, and they will likely have solved most of the IPS issues by then so your skin cells might be as useful as cord blood stem cells.

  • My wife and I asked our Ob/Gyn and pediatrician about this before the birth of our second child, and both of them said that doing so was a waste of time and money. The cord blood is only good for specific genetic conditions that occur in one out of a hundred thousand live births, while most medical conditions that may occur would be treated without the need for cord blood.

    Finally the doctors said that banks play on your emotions as new parents. They said that donating the cord blood would be nice, but a lot
  • We did this for all 3 of our kids. Here in New York it is free to donate and store, if you or someone else needs them, the cells are available. I have no desire to enrich the private banks.

  • Having looked into it several times (2 kids) we have decided that it is simply to expensive to store our own. Donating works well though. Often times the donation centres keep your name on a list so that you have priority for the future as well.

    Also, be aware that while storing the cord blood is useful, actually allowing the blood to completely go to the baby is even better. All the blood in the cord / placenta is the baby's blood. By depriving it of that blood, that can put them down a lot of iron. Ofte

  • Put the cord in a nice pit with some lye and bury it for a while, then slow steam cook. It's delicious.

    Others prefer their cords tartare but not for me! Storing works best!

  • As a new parent, you are going to be barraged with a constant stream of "you're doing it wrong" messages. Advertising leverages your anxiety to sell you things, and new parents are a goldmine of anxiety. "Wouldn't you do everything possible for your baby?" is a hard sales pitch to decline...nobody wants to be the materialistic asshole who values money over a safety net, even for a very extreme edge case. But it's still a sales pitch for something not worth the price. If you donate, maybe you will still be a

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @05:51PM (#39516001) Homepage

    Do not pay to store your own cord blood:
    1) You cannot use your own stem cells any current stem cell therapies. If you have a genetic condition that can be solved with stem cells, you must use cells that do not have the condition. But someone else could use them. It is more likely that you will use someone else's stem cells. The only reason to use your own is in the theoretical future where you can regrow an organ.
    2) It is more likely that someone else will need those stem cells. Paying to have it held for you denies someone else a potentially lifesaving therapy. Imagine paying a company to store your own blood in case you needed it after an accident/surgery. Better to bank it for anyone to use.
    3) Donating the cord blood for anyone to use is free.
    4) Many of the companies that offer umbilical cord blood banking prey on people's fears and operate in unethical ways. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have called-out specific companies for questionable behavior.

    Many hospitals and birthing centers promote cord blood banking because they are convinced by salespeople that it is a smart thing to do. But they often don't know much about it. Do some reading on this before making a decision. Often times doctors give advice about medical treatments that they are not trained on. (Ex: Don't ask an OB/GYN about stem cell procedures any more than you would ask a licensed electrician about a plumbing problem, or a criminal lawyer about copyright law.)

    Start with the Wikipedia article: [wikipedia.org]

  • by Dr. Hok (702268) on Friday March 30, 2012 @02:57AM (#39519791)
    We went through all the pros and cons of storing cord blood when our kids were born. Finally we decided against it. It looked too much like a rip-off. We felt that the companies that offered services make a big business out of people's fears. IIRC, it's highly unlikely that your kid will be in a condition to benefit from its stem cells. There was no public service at that time in Germany or I would have considered donating it.

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