Doctors use cord blood to treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, lymphoma and more than 75 other serious conditions because of the stem cells it contains. To help you decide whether or not to store your umbilical cord blood, our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best cord blood banks in Detroit.
If you spend any time in Detroit neighborhoods with young families, like Corktown, Brush Park and Sherwood Forest, or cities like Northville, Royal Oak, Livonia and Novi, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that there’s a growing demand for cord blood banking in Detroit.
More than 110,000 babies are born in Michigan each year and nearly half are born in the metro Detroit area. Most of the 23,000 babies born here each year are healthy, but many young families want the continued health, security and peace of mind that comes with storing their child’s cord blood.
Cord blood treats a growing number of diseases, syndromes and injuries. Currently, Food and Drug Administration regulations limit the use of cord blood to the treatment of cancers of the blood, such as lymphoma and leukemia, and certain blood, metabolic and immune system disorders, such as sickle cell disease, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome and osteopetrosis.
Research into the use of cord blood to treat rheumatoid arthritis, congenital heart defects, diabetes and even hearing loss has yielded positive results.
The FDA has currently approved the use of cord blood for treating approximately 80 diseases. However, research into its use is still underway, with many new possibilities already in the testing phase.
Studies have also shown promising results in the treatment of:
Traumatic brain injury
Cleft palate repair
Spinal cord injuries
Some studies into the use of blood cord to treat wounds and signs of aging have also shown promising results, however many of these findings have yet to be peer reviewed.
Cord blood banking pros and cons
As amazing as stem cells are, cord blood banking in Detroit is still a gamble.
Cord blood banking pros
Cord blood banking cons
Cord blood stem cells can save lives.
Private cord blood banking is expensive.
Scientists frequently discover more uses for umbilical stem cells.
Your family may never even need your cord blood stem cells.
Donating umbilical cord blood to public blood banks helps people in need.
Shelf life for cord blood may be limited.
Private cord blood banking guarantees your stem cells are available when you need them.
Parents must arrange cord blood banking and pay for it for well in advance of childbirth.
How much does cord blood banking cost in Detroit?
In metro Detroit, most cord blood banks charge between $1,000 - $3,000 upfront and between $150 - $350 annually for each year it is stored. Some banks also charge retrieval fees when you put your cord blood to use.
How is cord blood stored?
Detroit blood banks transport cord blood in liquid nitrogen-filled shipping containers and quickly put it in long-term storage to retain the sample’s medical integrity.
For many families in Detroit, the cost is one of the biggest downsides to cord blood banking. However, not all cord blood banks charge money.
Private blood banks in Detroit charge clients annual fees for storage and an upfront fee to reserve a space and transport the cord blood from the hospital to their facility.
Public blood banks in Detroit do not charge to store cord blood donations, but this means that anyone who’s a genetic match and has a qualifying medical condition can use your sample.
Some experts recommend public donation, given the demand for cord blood stem cells and the significant chance you will never need them. However, for families in Detroit with a history of childhood cancers, blood cancers and autoimmune diseases, paying for private storage is a safer bet.
Who can use cord blood?
Doctors across the globe have successfully treated a donor’s parents, siblings and even second- and third-degree relatives with cord blood. For families with multiple children, the potential to use one child’s cord blood on another family member is significant.
Even strangers in Detroit with matching genetics can benefit from cord blood donations. Remember, if your cord blood is stored in a public blood bank, you don’t have any right to it anymore. The blood bank can provide it to anyone who is a match or throw it away without permission from you.
If your cord blood is in a private bank, as long as you pay your annual fees on time, you get to decide where, when and why it’s used.
Many Michiganders agree that Americord makes the intake and collection process nice and simple. Customers laud this cord blood bank as one of the industry’s pioneers in research and innovation for more than a decade. Its cutting-edge techniques allow Americord to harvest more stem cells from a cord blood sample than its competitors.