Saving a newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood can cost the parents more than $14,000, but some state lawmakers want it to be free and to create a public umbilical cord blood bank.
The option now is for parents to pay a private bank to store the blood frozen to later treat diseases and other medical conditions if the need arises.
“Public banks are free and accessible to everyone in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant, and would provide a great service to Connecticut residents,” North Haven Republican Sen. Len Fasano said in August.
He said privately stored blood is rarely used because few children develop cancers that could be treated with their own stem cells and the blood is also not an automatic match for family members, but public cord blood banking creates a wide range of potential donor matches.
Fasano has scheduled a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the legislation he proposed to create such a bank.
In 2009, the General Assembly voted to require health care providers to inform expectant mothers about the option to bank or donate their newborn's umbilical cord blood.
There are only 17 such public banks around the country.
You can read more about the proposal here.