Frequently Asked Questions

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Storage Facility

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Once we have stored cord blood for our family, how long should we keep it?
Indefinitely.  From an economic perspective, it does not make sense to invest in the up-front processing fee and pay for years of annual storage, and then throw out the investment.  That would be like buying life insurance and then cancelling it because you have not died yet.  Especially given that the probability of some one in the immediate family needing a transplant increases with age.  Even if the cord blood collection was small, and the child becomes too large to use it for a transplant, it could still be enough cells for a regenerative medicine therapy. The science of cryobiology tells us that cells which are cryogenically preserved remain viable for decades.  It has been confirmed that cord blood stem cells were still viable after being frozen 23+ years.

References:
Broxmeyer, H.E. Cell Stem Cell 2010; 6(1):21-24
Mazur, P. Science 1970; 168(3934):939-949
Nietfeld, J.J. et al. BBMT 2008; 14:316-322
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What questions should parents ask a Family Bank about the Storage Facility?
  • What type of records do parents receive after storage?  
  • Does your contract state that the storage fee is fixed, or may it increase later?  
  • Does the bank reserve the right, in your contract, to change storage facilities?
  • Does the bank operate their own storage facility, or is it provided by another laboratory? 
  • What type of accreditation or other certifications does the storage facility carry?  In most banks the cord blood is stored in the lab where it was processed, and the accreditation of the lab covers the storage conditions.
  • What is the geographic location of the storage facility: Is it at risk for hurricanes, earthquakes, or other natural disasters?
  • What type of back-up systems does the storage facility have in case of power failure?
  • What type of security systems does the storage facility have?