While we were at my OB’s last time, my husband and I brought up the option of cord blood donation. The doctor said she had done it before, and she would be willing to do it for us but that we must go out and get a kit mailed to us before the birth (obviously) and make sure she has it in advance so she can open it up and harvest from my umbilical cord.
Cord blood donation differs from cord blood banking in a few ways but there’s one huge incentive, it’s free. Public cord blood banks pay for the collection, testing and storing of umbilical cord blood. If you were banking, it could cost around $2,000 for a 20-year term. And that’s not including the yearly fees of $100-$200.
This price is prompting a new fad of blood banking registries. One that is the same as a ‘traditional’ registry only people are contributing to the overall cost of banking something that most bankers will (hopefully) never need.
Apparently it’s not a common occurrence here in Wisconsin. I’ve been looking up cord blood donation in Wisconsin while on the internet and getting nowhere. If you do this, be sure that you’re following links that say donation because banking will come up regardless, and as we know, banking is different than donating.
Eventually, I stumbled here http://marrow.org/Get_Involved/Donate_Cord_Blood/Donate_Cord_Blood.aspx and watched their video on donation before reading towards the bottom and clicking on ‘Learn if you can donate cord blood’ link. I met all the criteria, which I have copied below for your perusal…
I am 18 or older.
About Your Baby:
Please select your estimated due date.
* must be between your 28th and 34th week of pregnancy from today’s date
I am expecting only one baby.
My baby does not have any fetal abnormalities.
Tattoos and Body Piercings:
In the last 12 months, I have not had any tattoos or ear, skin or body piercings where shared or non-sterileinks, needles, instruments or procedures were used.
Blood Diseases and Transfusion:
I do not have any blood diseases (Anemia is okay.)
In the last 12 months, I have not received a blood transfusion.
I have never tested positive for hepatitis, AIDS or West Nile.
Sexually Transmitted Disease:
In the last 12 months, I have not been treated for syphilis.
Neither I, nor my baby’s father, nor any of my baby’s siblings has ever had any type of cancer or leukemia.
In the past three years, I have not had malaria.
Since cord blood units must arrive at a cord blood bank within 48 hours, the hospital where you plan to donate must be within the contiguous US.
I am delivering at a US hospital that is not in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
As I said above, I met the criteria and was invited to continue with the donation process; which I did. Long story short, by the end of the (rather short) process I read this…
Your information has been forwarded to:
MD Anderson Cord Blood Bank
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030
1 (713) 563-8000
1 (866) 869-5111
Please allow at least a week for this bank to contact you.
Don’t leave this to the last!
If you are thinking of donating, you must take action between your 28th and 34th week of pregnancy, from whatever the current date is. I am scraping the wire. On Saturday, I will be 33 weeks along.
I can only trust that the Anderson Cord Blood Bank will hold up on their end and prove that they are serious about obtaining my cord blood.
It’s almost frustrating how long it took me to find this option! Why is it so hard to donate cord blood in Wisconsin?