Viewpoint: Don’t waste your money on banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood

private cord blood bank public cord blood banking x
Credit: SAMAA
[I]n the U.S., the practice of storing umbilical cord blood is steadily on the rise. Banking cord blood in case a bone marrow transplant is needed in the future is appealing on so many levels. The umbilical cord attaching the developing fetus to its mother’s placenta is rich in those juicy bone marrow stem cells that are so effective at making the blood components.

The cost for using commercial cord blood banking companies, however, can be substantial. Upfront charges with what’s called an enrollment fee can range from $1,500 to $3,500. On top of that, a yearly storage fee is assessed, with the total amount for 18 to 20 years of storage cresting $5,000 in some cases.

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[One study] estimated that the incidence rate of transplant for children and adolescents was a little over 2 per 100,000 per year in the United States during their first two decades of life. Analyzed another way, the probability a child will need a transplant by the time he or she reaches age 20 is 0.04 percent.

Related article:  ‘Tip-of-the-tongue’ phenomenon: Does it signal cognitive decline and dementia?

The lifetime chance of getting struck by lightning is similar, at about 1 in 3,000, or 0.033 percent.

Would you pay thousands of dollars for a medication right now, in the event that sometime in your life you may be struck by lightning, and that medication may help you survive the lightning strike?

Seems excessive to me.

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