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Public vs private cord banking

Which is right for your family: Private cord blood banking or public donation?

Research continues to advance new discoveries on the effectiveness of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells in treating many life-threatening diseases. The use of stem cells derived from cord blood is already routinely being used in the FDA-approved treatment of more than 80 diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and many other blood disorders, cancers, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.

As an expectant parent, you have many things to decide. One of the crucial decisions to make will be choosing what you do with the valuable cells found in your baby’s umbilical cord after your child’s birth.

You have three options with this precious resource:

  1. Privately bank your baby’s cord blood.
  2. Donate to a public cord blood bank (not available in many areas of the United States).
  3. Have the hospital discard these otherwise life-saving cells post-delivery.

If you’ve decided you’d rather not have these life-saving cells discarded, read further to determine which banking option is right for you.


Private Cord Blood Banking vs. Public Cord Blood Donation

Private cord blood banks process and store cord blood stem cells for a family's personal use. With private cord blood banking, decisions regarding how your child’s stem cells are used are left to your family.

The cost of cord blood banking varies by provider, but MiracleCord offers a variety of affordable storage options.

Most importantly, private cord blood banking provides parents something that public cord blood banks cannot: the ability to utilize your child’s specific stem cells in the future, if needed.

Approximately 30% of the over 80 diseases and conditions that are already FDA-approved for treatment with cord blood are used to treat the child that the stem cells came from. Some newer, emerging therapies for conditions like autism and cerebral palsy use a child’s own stem cells as well.

The remaining 70% of FDA-approved therapies use the child’s stem cells to treat immediate family members, such as siblings, parents, and grand-parents.

As a result of the large body of new research using cord blood stem cells, the list of FDA-approved therapies using cord blood and cord tissue stem cells continues to grow. Saving your baby’s cord blood guarantees that you’ll have those genetically unique cells available to your family.

Additionally, some private cord blood banks like MiracleCord also have the ability to process and store cord tissue stem cells. Continuing research on the unique cells found in cord tissue offer considerable promise in treating an even wider range of diseases than cord blood alone.

Private cord blood banks save the cord blood and cord tissue so it is readily available to your family when needed, and this ensures the best biological match for a successful transplant.



Public Cord Blood Donation

Public cord blood banks store unrelated cord blood units that are donated. The relevant information (e.g., HLA types, cell counts, and the birth mother's medical history) is then stored in a database and sometimes made available to research facilities and transplant centers.

Public banks do not process or save cord tissue.

Public cord blood banks have the option to sell your donated sample to a research facility or to discard your sample. 80% of all publicly donated cord blood samples are not stored for future transplantation.1

Should your family need stem cells for a life-saving treatment in the future, there is a high probability that your baby's cord blood will not be available to you when needed, if it was donated to a public bank - leaving your family to hope and wait for a donor match, which may never be found.

If a match can be located, transplant centers typically charge approximately $50,000 for each cord blood unit that is retrieved from a public bank.2

1 Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016-31-May from PGCB: Cord Blood Introduction: Cord Blood Infographic: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/cord-blood-infographic

National Marrow Donor Program. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010-11-January from NMDP: University of Chicago: http://www.marrow.org/PATIENT/Plan_for_Tx/Choosing_a_TC/US_NMDP_Transplant_Centers/Detailed_Center_ Information/tc_idx.pl?ctr_id=557


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