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Cordblood banking- your thoughts

  1. #1
    lorraine is offline Registered User
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    Cordblood banking- your thoughts

    Hi guys, I'm 5 months pregnant now and just shopping around to see what's best for my baby. Recently, I came across the babyfair and saw a booth that introduced cordblood banking. I'm really tempted to store it for my baby..but still debating about it.

    Any thoughts on that?

  2. #2
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    If you are looking to help others, then donate away (but I dont think this is available in HKG)
    If you are looking to help your own child, chances are it will be quite useless.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/1...nks/index.html

    When you read articles and brochures, pay careful attention to words like "could", "may", "might" etc. None of them commit to anything and are praying on emotions of new parents to extract $$$$.

  3. #3
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    I would have done donation if it had been available but I don't think it was... didn't research much to be honest.

    I'm no scientist and bear in mind it's more than two years since I looked into this so my recollection may be a bit hazy but I've heard that the person collecting the cord blood needs to be experienced otherwise the likelihood that they will actually gather any stem cells is very small. Plus if you want to do delayed clamping, which can help with anaemia then you can't collect the cord blood anyway? The science behind the banking is largely untested and the number of diseases that it could potentially help with is very small, as I recall the sales pitch is very much about what science might be able to do in the future, there's not that much in place now. To put that in perspective, they've been working on a cure for cancer for more years and with much more investment and while treatments have improved they're nowhere near a cure.

    Some people liken it to an insurance policy and while it's broadly correct I'm not sure that is strictly true as insurance premiums are based on the risk - this is the same fee for everyone. I'd be interested to know, of all the people who have cord blood banked for their children, what percentage have found a use for it.

    If I had one of the genetic conditions which cord blood banking could potentially help with in my family then I might have considered it more closely but as I didn't and for the reasons above, I didn't do it. Having said that, I can't see anything wrong with it if you've got the cash to spare and it makes you feel better.

  4. #4
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    Just read the article, interesting stuff, especially this:

    "Public banks have strict standards and reject about half of all donations because not enough cells were obtained or there are quality problems with the cells, Kurtzberg says."

    This is what I'd heard from someone who works in a similar area, the quality and quantity of cells collected is often poor. A private bank wouldn't tell you and go ahead and store you and charge you for it.

  5. #5
    lorraine is offline Registered User
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    thanks guys for your feedback!
    Howard- that's a very good article actually...it's too bad that HKG doesn't really do 'public donation of umbilical cord bloods', that would be a great thing for those who want to help and those that prob don't have enough $$ to store it.

    But from what I've heard, storing the umbilical cordblood will actually be able use it on the child again, or even the sibling. From what the private cordblood banking have told me, they have had multiple cases of tranplants already. I guess its like buying an insurance for my child. I'm still browsing though.

    It's funny, because recently I've also come across other ones that can store your own fat cells or something and then use it like a botox injection to make oneself be 'young' again. I find that extremely bizarre and just too good to be true. People these days just come up with anything...

  6. #6
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorraine View Post
    But from what I've heard, storing the umbilical cordblood will actually be able use it on the child again, or even the sibling. From what the private cordblood banking have told me, they have had multiple cases of tranplants already. I guess its like buying an insurance for my child. I'm still browsing though.
    Child - extremely rare
    Sibling - rare
    Public - yes, much more plausible
    They are playing on your fears as their standard sales technique for their own gain.

    Please do your own research and read the countless * independent* articles out there and you will find that they are stretching the truth.

  7. #7
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Lorraine -- You CAN donate cord blood in HK, but only at these four hospitals: Kwong Wah, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary and Tsan Yuk.

    A friend of mine had a very ill child who needed cord blood, which made me think I wanted to donate, too. But it's very difficult to arrange if you are not at one of these four hospitals. I even called the Red Cross, and they said they couldn't do it.

    I also called one of these private cord blood companies to see if they would help me do a donation for a basic charge -- but they were so totally uninterested, it was ridiculous. When they found out I didn't want to pay thousands of dollars for their services, they didn't even answer my email. Their attitude made me wonder if they were really interested in babies' health, or just out to make a quick buck.

  8. #8
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I'm no medical expert, but this is what it seems to me
    * The chances your baby will use his / her own cord blood is very rare
    * The chances that a large pool of cord blood / stem cells can help sick children in general is very good.

    So, in a broad societal sense, it makes sense for everyone to donate their stem cells into a large collection, and then for those cells to be sorted and matched to those who need it. It's like a numbers game.

    Of course, some people like to take every precaution, in case their baby gets some very rare illness.

    But I think there is much fearmongering out there. My first ob/gyn (who I got rid of) tried to tell me I was "high risk" and had a chance for an etopic pregnancy combined with a twin pregnancy. When I looked it up online, there was only a 1/10,000 chance of this happening, and I had none of the symptoms. So he was clearly just out to sell me services I had a 9,999/10,000 chance of not needing.

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