Here we list down a few points about baby cord blood that will help you in making an informed decision.
While parents are warming up to the idea of stem cell preservation, they are still boggled by a number of questions pertaining to the same. The most important question is - how to choose a cord blood bank? Cord blood banking is a medical service and hence you should ensure that it meets all standard criteria and requirements.
Here we list down a few points that will help you in making an informed decision.
1. Business Experience: Company background is extremely important when it comes to stem cell banking. Ensure that the bank comes with technological expertise and a strong financial background. It helps if the parent company or the team heading the company is from the healthcare or life sciences industry.
2. Logistics: The bank should have a well-trained team who can handle the collection of cord blood and tissue at birth. It is important to store the sample in temperature validated kits soon after collection till the time they reach the processing centre. During shipment from one location to the other, these samples should not be subjected to X-ray and the transportation should be in temperature controlled supply chain. Many banks cut costs during the shipping procedures hence ask for proof about temperature stability of samples during shipment.
3. Laboratory: The lab should be located at a place that is away from seismic zone (earthquake prone area). It should be flood proof and well equipped to combat fire. It is advisable to visit the lab and check the infrastructure for yourself. Various tests like CFU, sterility and viability tests should be performed on the sample. CFU at preservation is the most important test of them all as it determines the differentiation capacity of the stem cells. Ask for sample reports and see details of the tests done by the bank.
4. Accreditations and licenses: Cord blood banking is a medical service. It is not as simple as buying a medicine from a shop or consulting a physician. There are lot many steps involved in this and hence it is important to spend more time researching than basing the decision merely on price.
Accreditation for a cord blood bank should be from a body recognized by WHO like BSI. It should be licensed by Indian FDA. Learn more about the standards being followed by the bank- mere accreditations are not enough. You need to ensure that they are following each and every procedure as per the guidelines set by the authorities.
5. Guarantee: In case of any unfortunate incident where the stem cells stored cannot be used for transplantation (viability issue or destruction due to natural calamity) then the bank should be able to provide assistance- financially or by sourcing another matching sample from its affiliates or public bank.
Spend ample amount of time doing research about the bank you have short listed. Review the agreements and see to it that there are no hidden clauses. Value added services and time to time offers are introduced by banks. The cord blood bank you opt for should be based on how it scored on all the above mentioned factors including price.