If you’re expecting, chances are you’ve been alerted to the value of your soon-to-be newborn’s cord blood. Where cord blood was once discarded with little thought along with the placenta in most births, advances in medical technology have opened up a slew of therapeutic uses for this “liquid gold”. Today, various cord blood banks in Singapore allow you to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented at your child’s birth to collect and store his or her cord blood as a form of biological insurance.
We walk you through some of these options.
An Overview of Cord Blood Banks in Singapore
The current cord blood banking landscape in Singapore comprises three private cord blood banks, namely StemCord, Cordlife and Cryoviva, and a public cord blood bank, the Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB).
Private vs. Public Banking
What, you may ask, is the difference between private and public cord blood banking?
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Broadly speaking, each serves a distinct – but equally important – function. Private banking services are provided for a fee and ensure that cord blood is immediately available for your own use. Whereas public or community cord blood banks, which store donated cord blood for free, provide an avenue for public needs.
To illustrate, we profile two cord blood banks in Singapore – private cord blood bank StemCord and the Singapore Cord Blood Bank.
StemCord was the first private cord blood bank in Singapore to be licensed by MOH in 2002. Founded by medical practitioners, this privately-held company provides the full range of services for the banking of both cord blood and cord tissue.
Internationally accredited by FACT-NetCord, StemCord employs a two-cryo bag, two-location storage solution. The two-bag, two-location solution provides both greater flexibility in the use of the cord blood, as well as greater security and peace of mind for customers. Over the past 17 years, more than 40,000 cord blood units (CBUs) have been stored.
Storage fees vary depending on what is stored, but are generally in the 4-digit range, payable upfront for 10 or 21 years, or annually.
Read a fuller profile of StemCord here.
Singapore Cord Blood Bank
SCBB is a Community Cord Blood Bank that offers both public and family cord blood banking services to families in Singapore. Established since 2005, SCBB’s comprehensive service gives families the flexibility to store their baby’s cord blood for their family’s future use, with the option to donate it later to be used in life-saving treatment for patients with blood cancers and disorders like Leukaemia and Lymphome. To date, SCBB has successfully facilitated over 250 cord blood transplants for pediatric and adult beneficiaries locally and overseas.
Internationally accredited and recognized by Singapore’s Ministry of Health for its highest standard in safety and quality of its cord blood banking activities, SCBB’s only stores donated cord blood units (CBUs) and not cord blood tissues for use in treatment of blood disorders and cancers.
To ensure that the CBUs are usable for unrelated stem cell transplants, they must meet SCBB’s strict volume and quality requirements. When the donated cord blood does not meet the requirement, the donor’s family can choose to store it for their own family through SCBB’s Community Cord Blood Banking services. It is a one-stop Cord Blood Bank to meet both the community and families’ needs.
Read a fuller profile of SCBB here.
So as the big day draws near, amidst the excitement of welcoming your little one into the world, give some thought to the potential use of this precious resource that nature has gifted you with, won’t you?
This feature is brought to you by StemCord and Singapore Cord Blood Bank.