Umbilical Cord Blood Banks: Private Vs Public

Umbilical Cord Blood Banks: Private Vs Public

Once parents have decided to go forward with banking their child’s cord blood, an important decision to consider is which type of cord blood bank should donate to; a public or private one?

Through the use of marketing tools such as flyers, direct mailings, and parenting magazines, most parents usually find themselves in fix as they diligently do their homework. Though public cord blood banking is free, the advantage of securing their child’s cord blood in a private bank for their child’s future seems imperative for many parents. It is perceived as being as essential to a child’s future security as life insurance. At that juncture cost may not be considered as a major issue especially for parents who can afford it. Parents reason it as a good investment for their child in case they may need it in the future.

But this is not the case for all the parents. The cost of opting for private banks is quite high at around 1000 to 2000 dollars. Even for parents who can afford it, they are advised that their money be used for some other purpose such as starting a college fund for their children. The subject of cord blood banking has been controversial in the recent years; one such reason being the reliability of the cord blood stored in private banks.

Though donation of child’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank is highly recommended, parents don’t easily opt for it for one reason that number of public cord blood banks that allow cord blood donations are not widely available. Secondly, parents hold unwarranted fears if their child or a family member would get cord blood at their time of emergency or need.

A brief look into the pros and cons of both public and private banking will help the parents decide which is best suitable for them.

Whether the parents choose to opt for public or private cord blood bank, the main criteria is to make sure whether the cord blood unit meets the standards to be used in a cell transplant. Only those cord blood units that are free from infection and diseases and have enough blood forming cells are fit for use in cell transplants.

Public Cord Blood Bank Storage

The public cord blood banks do not collect a fee and the bank covers all aspects of costs for processing, testing and storing.

The cord blood is made available to any patient who is in need of stem cell transplant. The donor cannot preserve it for their family’s use.

The bank ensures strict standards to maintain the quality of the cord blood unit. In case of any decrease in standards the cord blood is either discarded or sent for research purposes.

Private Cord Blood Bank Storage

The cord blood that is stored in private banks is preserved exclusively for the donor’s use (or for their family or relatives)

The fee for storing cord blood is high. The private banks collect fees for collecting, storing (annual or monthly) and processing.

There are lots of private cord blood banks throughout the country and many of them are accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks.

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