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When parents are registering for cord blood banking, they are required to provide quite a bit of health information to the cord blood bank. Many parents wonder what happens to this information, once it is submitted to the bank.
While I can’t answer this for all banks, I can answer it for M.A.Z.E. When parents bank with M.A.Z.E. their personal medical information is protected by the same HIPPA regulations that govern physicians. The information can not be shared without the parents’ permission and is kept securely.
When parents are considering banking their cord blood, they often ask if there is a charge to retrieve the cord blood. There should be no cost to retrieve the cord blood. What a cord blood bank might charge you for is shipping of the sample. Since the sample needs to be shipped frozen, you will need to rent a portable nitrogen tank to ship the sample. This money is not for removing the sample from storage, it is a rental fee for the tank. You should always check with your cord blood bank to make sure they will not charge you a handling fee for removing the cord blood from storage.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells may one day be used to build heart valves for children born with heart defects. Ralf Sodian of University Hospital Munich, who led the study, presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting that these valves would grow with the child, eliminating the need for ongoing surgical intervention to replace outgrown heart valves.
Many parents who are considering storing their infant's cord blood, often wonder how long the cord blood can be saved before it starts to deteriorate. Banking cord blood is a new enough procedure that scientists don't have an answer to that question yet.
The data for cord blood involves specimens that have been frozen for 10-12 years. In those specimens, there seems to be no deterioration. This doesn't say that cord blood will not last longer, it just says that there has never been any research conducted on specimens that have been stored longer.
Parents who are deciding whether to bank their baby’s cord blood have so many sources of information, but often don’t know what to believe. While cord blood bank sites can be valuable sources of information, they are first and foremost developed to sell the company’s services so might be considered biased. There is an unbiased source of information that can help parents to determine if cord blood banking is right for them.
When completing an application for cord blood banking, many parents wonder why we ask about international travel. We ask this because it is required as part of our licensing.
If there is some type of international health scare, the FDA may ask us if any of the parents who have banked their baby's cord blood had traveled to a specific country. Since we collect that information, we can easily access it and isolate the cord blood if it is required.
We don't expect this to happen, but we need to have the capabilities to keep all of our stored cord blood safe if it is necessary.
One of the top questions our cord blood coordinators receive is "What can cord blood be used to treat?" Many parents hear about the benefits of banking their children's cord blood, but don't know the specifics. If you are interested in what diseases cord blood treats, you can find a complete list at http://www.mazecordblood.com/cordblood-transplant.htm. This listing highlights diseases where cord blood is currently considered a standard treatment.