Cord Blood Banking Pros and Cons List
Cord blood banking is the sterile storage of umbilical cord blood in a blood bank. The umbilical cord blood is known to contain stem cells. Stem cells can be chemically induced to transform into any type of cell in the human body.
List of Pros of Cord Blood Banking
1. Cure Disease
The most frequently cited advantage of storing umbilical cord blood containing stem cells is the potential to treat and even cure disease that may develop in children. The advantage of storing umbilical cord blood that contains stem cells that are specific to an individual is also one of the most commonly cited advantages of the practice.
In the event that your child develops a genetic disease, contracts a chronic condition, or even loses a limb or an eye, the stored stem cells can be induced to correct the disease and grow a new organ or appendage. The advantage of having stem cells in the millions in umbilical cord blood that are specific to a given individual is seen as a protection against rejection that is superior to any other cellular treatment for genetic disease and chronic conditions that are presently available.
2. Store Now for Future Development
Storing umbilical cord blood that is preserved by cryogenic freezing methods is seen as an advantage for a person’s health that could even extend their life as they age and as science develops new methods to use stem cells to cure diseases or ameliorate the conditions that develop naturally with age. Most parents consider cord blood banking as insurance that they have a means to keep their children alive and healthy in the event that their child develops a disease that is treatable with stem cell technology.
3. Help Siblings
Some parents hope that a sibling’s medical condition can be cured by using the cord blood stem cells from a new child.
List of Cons of Cord Blood Banking
1. Extreme Cost
The major argument against cord blood banking is the extreme cost of the technology. A parent would pay an annual fee of as much as $2,000 per year to store the blood. The quality of the storage system and the practices vary greatly between private blood banks and public blood banks.
2. Lost Cord Blood
The potential for losing the cord blood and the money a person invested in storing the blood is also considered a negative for cord blood storage. The blood freezing systems could fail rendering the blood useless after just a few hours. Natural disasters could completely destroy the stored blood.
There is a potential for mislabeling the cord blood in the blood bank. Although extremely rare, this mistake has happened with normal blood that is used for transfusions and medical procedures. Death can result from introducing stem cells from an individual that is not the same person as the intended donor and recipient.
4. Lack of Proven Technology
Stem cell technology has made gigantic strides in the last decade alone. There is every expectation that in time a large majority for birth defects, chronic diseases, debilitating disease, and even the loss of a limb can be cured using stem cell technology. The lack of absolutely proven methods to cure any disease using stem cells is the most frequently cited disadvantage to storing umbilical cord blood in the hopes of curing a sick child or saving their life.