Public vs Private Cord Blood Banks
Public cord-blood banks.
A big concern with public cord-blood banking is how to guarantee the safety of the cord blood. Privacy of the donor is a concern and it is maintained by most ethical review boards that the cord blood donated cannot be permanently linked to the donor. Even though the donated cord blood is put through a series of tests for possible harmful genetic disorders or viruses, some genetic disorders such as congenital anemia’s or immunodeficiency’s might not show in a donor for months or years.
By that time all donor identifying information has long since been removed and there is a danger that the recipient of the cord blood could develop these disorders also.
The largest hindrance facing public cord-blood banking is the exorbitant costs needed to open them and maintain them. There are only a few in operation. Public cord-blood banks do not charge storage fees and many of the medical centers can’t afford to establish or maintain them. You also run into the fear that the ones that are in existence might not have the funds to ensure there is a large enough staff to make sure the cord blood samples are handled properly with the right procedures.
Private cord-blood banks.
Initial costs can be a draw back for some parents because the service is not always covered by medical insurance. However, private cord-blood banking is an affordable investment for most families as most private banks come with payment plans. Often, the payment plans are very reasonable so that the arrangements can fit into most budgets.
With private cord-blood banks, the parents can control how and if the blood will be used and the stem cells are only generally accessed if the donor or a family member needs a transplant.
So it really depends on why you are banking your newborn’s cord blood. If you are doing it for stem cell research or just donating to a good cause then for the most part a public bank will be a viable option. However, if you have a medical history of illness that cord blood can help in the treatments of said illness then by far the better bet is to bank it in a private cord-blood bank so you will have it at your immediate disposal and know where it came from.
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