How Can I Select the Best Company to Store My Baby’s Cord Blood?
Choosing where to store your child's cord blood can be a big decision. When comparing companies, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
Is the company stable? For starters, how long have they been in business? It's important to take a look at the company's history. Are they publicly traded or privately owned? Have you seen the contract? Look for any clauses that let you know what will happen to your sample should the company be bought or go out of business. It's important to know that you will retain ownership of the sample. You will also want to know whether or not your sample will stay in the lab it is currently in or if it would be moved should the company go bankrupt or change hands.
Is the company's lab accredited? Accreditation for labs that store cord blood is offered by the AABB. This accreditation assures parents that the lab regularly passes procedural inspections by the American Association of Blood Banks.
What is the company's methodology? The preferred collection method among physicians and midwives is the gravity bag. Consider speaking with your physician or midwife about their preference. Also, does the company use a medical courier or do they rely on a company that cannot guarantee stable temperature during shipping? Does the lab receive samples 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?
Have there been successful transplants? Are you storing your child's cord blood with a company whose lab has a proven track record? Ask each company how many samples have been retrieved for treatment and if those samples were shown to be viable for transplant.
What is the cost? It is no secret that cord blood banking can be a big investment; luckily there is some variability in what different companies charge. It is important to find out if the company you are interested in makes an effort to make cord blood banking a possibility for every family. Some companies do offer discounts (especially for multiples), specials, and some even offer affordable payment plans. You may want to find out if you have to put money down right away, and if for any reason you default on your payments, what happens to your child's cord blood?