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What is cord blood banking?

Cord blood banking is a relatively new concept. It means taking your baby’s umbilical cord and saving it in a cord blood bank. This storage was created so the cord could be used later on in the treatment of many different types of ailments. This is beneficial because your baby will not have to wait on a matching donor or ask a relative to help if their cord blood is being safely stored.

Cord blood is great for many conditions including leukaemia, sickle cell, metabolic disorders and immune system issues. There is some controversy over cord blood banking and its relationship to stem cell research. Not every country allows for the storage of cord blood. In fact, Ireland currently only offers this service privately in some private hospitals or else in exceptional circumstances.

There is also the problem with cost as the initial fee is about €2,450 along with €330 for maternal blood tests and around €136 each year to store the cord blood. There are some non-profit banks available but this means your baby’s cord blood could go to any matching donor and would not be kept merely in case your child someday needs it. However, this important tool could save lives if the option is available to you.

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