July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month. According to the American Pregnancy Association, cord blood is “the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth.” This blood can either be discarded or the mother can choose to bank it for later use for herself, the baby, or to be donated to another family.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), explains that cord blood “contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells than can be used to treat some types of diseases.” These special stem cells can be used to treat over 70 types of diseases such as immune system, genetic and neurological disorders, as well as some forms of cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma.
Harvard Medical School suggests giving away cord blood rather than saving it for personal use as donating it is free. Private Banks can cost up to $1000 to $2000 initially and there is an annual storage fee. While in a private bank, other families who need it, may not have access to it and private banks also do not have to meet the same strict accreditation standards as public cord banks.
Duke Health explains that “currently, public donations are limited to mothers who have a healthy pregnancy, are 18 years or older, and are pregnant with a single baby. More information about public cord blood donation is available through the National Marrow Donor Program.”
Discuss your options with your healthcare provider. To schedule an annual physical at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.