Stem Cell Storage: FSA Eligibility
What is stem cell storage?
Stem cell storage is the process of placing stem cells into cryostorage. Stem cells are normally collected during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth from the umbilical cord. Stem cells collected during pregnancy are withdrawn via amniocentesis. Stem cells collected from the umbilical cord are found in the cord blood, which is referred to as cord blood storage (WebMD).
What is cord blood storage?
While the vast majority of blood storage is conducted for public use, individuals can pay for the services of a cord blood bank in anticipation of treating an existing or imminently probable disease that may develop over the course of their child's life. When a baby is born, parents will have the option to store the blood found inside the umbilical cord of a newborn baby, which is rich in blood stem cells, which have the ability to reproduce themselves into other types of cells. These cells can play a vital role in treating medical conditions like leukemia, sickle cell anemia or lymphoma, as injecting these cells can replenish a patient's blood supply with new, healthy cells. Cord blood cells can also be used to help the body recover from intensive cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation (American Pregnancy Association).
When a child is born, parents will have the option of paying to preserve this cord blood for their family member's future use by paying to store it in a private cord blood bank, having it disposed of or donating it to a public bank so it can be freely used by medical professionals to treat a wide range of potential medical conditions.