Should I store the placental cord blood if I become pregnant again?

The short answer is no.
Why than many families with a child with thalassemia collect and store cord blood? Unfortunately, this is a consequence of business-oriented and unscientific practices ignoring evidence-based medical recommendations. We are referring to private banks storing your newborn child cord blood for a fee. You could consider donating cord blood to public cord blood banks which store the cord free of charge as a useful source of transplantable stem cell for unrelated individuals.
There is no clear medical indication to the use of your child’s own cord blood and very few transplants have been done for thalassemia using compatible newborn sibling cord blood because it is generally considered safer to wait until the compatible newborn reaches 8-10 kg at around one year of age, and can donate fresh bone marrow. Cord blood is associated with increased rejection and more infectious risk related to delayed recovery of white blood cells which will also substantially increase costs and hospital stay.
In our view cord blood use for thalassemia transplantation is medically not indicated, largely profit-driven and ethically questionable.

These answers have been prepared by:
- Dr. Lawrence Faulkner, Cure2Children medical team coordinator
- Dr. Sadaf Khalid, Cure2Children Pakistan branch coordinator