February 26, 2014
Cord blood banking is becoming more and more popular, as parent’s are opting to save their child’s cells, which could cure diseases and save lives, as opposed to being disposed as medical waste. Advancements in medical research are leading to the development of new therapies that utilize stem cells collected from umbilical cord blood to help the body restore itself.
There are two different types of cord blood banks that parent’s can choose, should they decide to save and utilize their child’s umbilical cord blood. These two types of banks are public banks and private (or family) banks. Both are very different options, and by understanding the these two types of cord blood banking, parent’s can decide which option suits their family best.
Public banks process and store umbilical cord blood for potential use by those in need. The blood is listed on a registry by the type of tissue, but the identity of the donor remains anonymous. If your child’s cord blood is matched with a donor, your donation can save a life, but at the same time, there is also no guarantee that the cord blood can be withdrawn from the bank for use by a member of your family. Additionally, many of the donations received by cord blood banks are considered too small to be stored long term, and are used for research of even discarded.
Private banks store cord blood for a certain period of time, exclusively for use by the family of the child. How long the cells are stored in the cord blood bank is the decision of the parents, who pay an annual storage fee for this service. The parents are automatically given custody of the cells which are in the cord blood banking system until the child is an adult. The umbilical cord blood can be used by the child from which it came if it is ever needed, or used by another relative in need who is a close enough match.
There is no charge to donate cord blood to a public cord blood bank, but it does cost about $30,000 to obtain the cord blood for a transplant if you are in need. This is usually charged to the patient’s health insurance. By comparison, it would cost $2,400 to bank cord blood in CariCord’s cord blood banking system until the child reaches twenty years of age. This is a discounted price, as CariCord offers discounts to those who purchase cord blood storage in 10, 15, or 20-year increments. Of course, storage is also available in our cord blood bank on a year-to-year basis.