Cord blood banking is a topic being discussed more often by physicians and expectant parents. The dizzying array of information on the Web can be difficult to sift through. That's why Dr. Rallie McAllister, co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth," created this tip list to help bring light to some important issues for soon-to-be parents who may be selecting a family cord blood bank.
1. Research early: Talk to family and friends and your physician or midwife to get recommendations. Check online for testimonials and reviews. What is the bank's reputation?
2. Know the regulations and requirements: Has the bank registered with the U.S Food & Drug Administration and met all state regulatory requirements? Is the bank accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. Accreditation, which requires audits every two years, is evidence that your sample is screened, processed and stored following the strictest quality assurance guidelines.
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3. Be picky with the process: What delivery method is used to transport the blood? Samples can be destroyed because of improper transit. A reputable bank should use a medical courier company. Find out if they've facilitated any successful transplants. A red flag should go up if a bank has a high volume of cord blood units in storage but has never used a unit for transplant.
For more information, visit www.cordbankingbasics.com.
- Dr. Rallie McAllister is the co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth"