The American Academy of Pediatrics statement on cord blood preservation
January 2, 2007
Below is a news release on a policy statement appearing in the January issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). To receive the full text of this report, please contact the AAP Department of Communications.
Chicago - Cord blood stem cell banks can provide an invaluable service to those afflicted with leukemia and immune disorders. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages families to donate their newborn’s cord blood, which is normally discarded at birth, to cord blood banks (if accessible in their area) for use by other individuals in need. Storing cord blood at private banks for later personal or family use as a general “insurance policy” is discouraged.
According to the revised AAP policy statement, “Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation,” the chances of a child needing his or her own cord blood stem cells in the future are estimated to range from one in 1,000 to one in 200,000. Private cord blood banks target parents at an emotionally vulnerable time when the reality is most conditions that might be helped by cord blood stem cells already exist in the infant’s cord blood. However, the AAP does recommend private cord blood banking for parents who have an older child with a condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as a genetic immunodeficiency.
The policy details recommendations for private or public cord blood banks, such as obtaining written permission for obtaining cord blood prior to the beginning of labor; refraining from collecting cord blood during complicated deliveries; complying with standards set by federal and state agencies; and actively recruiting minorities to donate cord blood.
Parents who decide to donate or store an infant’s cord blood should be informed that genetic and infectious disease testing will be performed on the cord blood and that they will be notified of any abnormalities that are found. Likewise, parents should notify cord blood banks if their child develops a genetic, immunologic or malignant condition so their cord blood is not used for transplants.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.