How Can Blood Be Stored?
Everything You Need To Know
Have you ever thought of ways of storing blood? Whether you got an answer or not, you need to know that you cannot keep blood at your home. You can store it at a private blood bank.
Despite the process being costly, it entails many benefits.
Why Do People Store Blood?
First, understand why people prefer to store blood. Many people prefer storing their blood as they distrust donated blood.
Most private blood banks store blood from the umbilical cord of infants. Such blood can treat patients with certain life-threatening conditions.
Many parents find it worthwhile to store their own child's umbilical cord blood as it could become handy if the child needs a blood transfusion later in life.
Cord blood contains stem cells, which can take the form of different types of cells. It is the reason why they can treat certain diseases like sickle cell disease, leukaemia, lymphoma, immune deficiency syndromes, and metabolic disorders.
The Blood Storage Process
It will help if you acquaint yourself with the fact that it is a costly affair to store blood.
Cord blood donation is free, but you must pay the blood bank to store blood for your child's future emergency needs.
You can find a blood bank in or near your locality as such banks exist throughout the country. If you cannot locate one, ask a doctor who can show you a blood bank.
Blood storing is a specialized task. It needs specific conditions and temperatures to remain effective for medical use.
Usually, blood bank refrigerators are used to store blood, preserving its potency.
Bear in mind that you cannot store umbilical cord blood at home. In many states, it is illegal to keep blood at home.
Assess the Advantages and Disadvantages
Do not fall behind in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of storing umbilical cord blood.
A proper assessment is essential as storing cord blood has become controversial nowadays, despite its growing popularity.
For example, the regulatory bodies--the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics--do not recommend blood storage. But, many parents and doctors consider blood storage a good practice.
During a blood transfusion, blood usage from your own child's umbilical cord increases the chances of a successful transfusion. But, a common observation is that children often respond as well or even better to donor blood.
It can also happen that there can be less likelihood for your child to use his umbilical cord blood. Your child might need donor blood because his cord might carry the same cells that caused the disease.
However, if you have another child with the same condition who might require a blood transfusion down the line, you can store umbilical cord blood as your child can benefit from a sibling's blood.
The Involved Costs
Before you decide to store blood, take into consideration the costing factors. Storing blood at private blood banks is an expensive affair.
It usually entails an average processing fee of USD 1,400 to USD 2,300 in the first year, and after that, the annual fees come down to around USD 115 to USD 150 on average.
As such, do not fall behind in considering private blood storage's financial viability before you finalize the decision.
Make efforts to understand your child's health conditions to help you figure out whether umbilical cord blood storage is necessary for your child.
It might so happen that certain health conditions of your child or a family necessitate a blood transfusion. So, it makes sense for you to store blood at a bank even if it entails money outgo.
Check out if your family has a history of diseases like leukaemia or lymphomas, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia, immune deficiency diseases, or metabolic storage disorders. In case there is a history, it increases the chance of your family members needing a blood donation.
If your child has one of the disorders, umbilical cord blood storage is a good idea because your child might need a blood donation in the future.
Blood bank fees are not hard and fast. They might give you some discounts.
How to Find a Blood Bank?
The first step in storing blood is finding out a good family cord blood bank. Such banks are available in countries worldwide.
There can be two ways of locating a blood bank. One, you can contact a doctor or a healthcare facility to show you a reputed blood bank. Two, you can look for one in a blood bank directory and research to know its quality and reputation.
You can also browse the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation for free. It is a dependable directory of family cord blood banks worldwide.
There is one more thing to note. Do not go by the fees alone, as a costly blood bank is not indicative of quality. Although some blood banks lower their costs by following unsafe tactics, it is not a universal practice.
Most less expensive blood banks lower costs by spending less on marketing.
It is a good idea to check out the blood bank owners' qualifications and experience as that will indicate whether they take their reputation seriously. If so, then it is an indicator of good quality. Also, do not fail to look at the bank's viability, stability, and storage technology.
Spend some time searching for a blood bank with the lowest fee. If a blood bank does not offer you a discount, another will give you a discount. So, keep looking for the best fees, taking into account your financial position.
Once you finalized a blood bank, you should start making the necessary arrangements. Ensure that your doctor and the hospital know about the arrangements at least one month before your baby's birth.
The blood bank you selected and entered into a deal should send you a collection kit, which you need to give to the hospital staff before the delivery.
Ensure that the hospital staff collects your baby's cord blood immediately after delivery, and the staff should not make any delay in collecting the blood.
The Last Words
After you store blood in a blood bank, you take the blood out as per your necessity. When one of your family members needs blood, you can notify the bank about the condition. The bank will deliver the blood to the hospital for a transfusion. Each bank has specific procedures in this regard.
It might so happen that the bank will ask you for medical authorization from a doctor to testify the need for blood. However, the hospital staff will test the blood delivered from the blood bank to make sure it matches the patient's requirement.
Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy, she works with both established technology brands and market entrants to offer research inputs and insights on leveraging technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage. She is a prolific author and shares her expertise with tech enthusiasts on popular digital publishing platforms. She loves not only to write about several topics but also loves to explore new ideas about Lifestyle, Travel blogs and many more. Follow Mila on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.