Even Odds

At the heart of the criticism is the contention is that the chances of a child needing a transfusion of their own cord blood are very small, in comparison to the high storage fees at private banks. Either side of the argument is difficult to evaluate. The cause of many cancers is simply not well known. Added to this mystery factor is the diffi culty in accurately calculating the odds that a family will use the cord blood or benefit from new treatments.

One medical study cited claims that the odds that a child will someday need to use his or her own cord stem cells are 1 in 400. Furthermore, the odds that a newborn or a family member may benefit from banked cord blood are estimated at 1 in 200. These odds do not include the emerging and potential use of stem cells to treat other ailments, such as spinal cord injuries.

Assume for argument's sake that the odds cited for the likelihood of your child needing their own stem cells are accurate. Balance that against the spending of, say, $1,500 for the initial storage and $100 per year thereafter for the next two decades—a total of $3,500—for what may be the upper limit as to how long the cells can be minimally useful.

To some, any price within their means is worth paying to make their child safer from disease. Others might come to the conclusion that a 1 in 400 chance is too remote a possibility. Rather than spend money where there is a relatively low—albeit deadly—form of harm, one might take the $3,500 to spend on safety-proofing their home and buying the best child seat on the market to install in the family car.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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