Cord blood banking
Private blood banks may raise false or improbable hope that there will be a therapy in the future for muscular dystrophy using stem cells and that storing cord blood from an unaffected sister or brother, to use in such treatment is worthwhile. The likelihood of such cord blood being used for muscular dystrophy therapies is currently very low and this should be balanced against the fees that private blood banks charge. If treatments are developed in the future, then the majority of people should be able to be treated using cord blood stored in publicly organised banks, where cord blood is donated without payment for the benefit of anyone who needs it.
BBC news article ‘Plea to women banking cord blood’
News article highlighting some of the issues with private cord blood banking.
Nature article ‘Banking on cord blood stem cells’
This opinion piece gives some background to umbilical cord blood storage and argues that the service offered by private, commercial storage is “superfluous”. It presents opinion from other organisations such as the European Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Information for parents
FAQ from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK, including links to advice in America and Canada.
Umbilical cord blood banking
This scientific opinon paper from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK is mainly aimed at health professionals and scientists.
Anthony Nolan charity (UK) – cord blood collection
This charity for people with blood cancer runs an altruistic blood bank where people donate cord blood for free and can use the cord blood for free. Their stocks of cord blood are available to any patient in need, anywhere in the world.
UK National Health Service blood bank
The UK health service runs an altruistic blood bank where people donate cord blood for free and can use the cord blood for free. Their stocks of cord blood are available to any patient in need, anywhere in the world.