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  Cord Blood Banking
  About Cord Blood
  Cord Blood Stem Cells
  Diseases Treated
  Pros and Cons
  How To Preserve
  Banking Process
  Why Cord Blood Banking
  Types of Cord Blood Banks
  Public Cord Blood Bank
  Private Cord Blood Bank
  Selecting Cord Blood Bank
  Cost For Cord Blood Banking
  Ethical Issues
  Cord Blood FAQs

Private Cord Blood Banks Ė A Price to Pay

If youíve made the decision to save your baby's umbilical cord blood, you have two choices when it comes to storage. You can choose to donate the blood to a public cord blood bank or you can choose to store the blood in a private cord blood bank. If you choose a public cord blood bank, be aware that they may use the blood for transplants or for research purposes. A donation to a public blood bank is made free of charge, while storage in a private cord blood bank will cost you an initial processing fee, along with annual storage charges.

If you donate the blood to a public bank, you relinquish all control over the blood and how itís used. You should find out before you donate the cord blood to a public bank whether that bank provides blood for transplants or research or both. Blood donations that are of insufficient quantity may be discarded or sold for research purposes. Even donations of sufficient quantity may be sold to researchers to offset the costs of running the blood bank.

If these conditions arenít satisfactory for you, you may want to choose a private cord blood bank Ė sometimes called a family cord blood bank. If you choose a private cord blood bank, the blood belongs to your family and you control by whom it is used. There is a price to pay for this option, though. Initial collection and process fees range from $600 to $1,200, while annual storage fees usually run about $100 each year.

But is the price worth it? Thatís a complex question. The following are some of the things you should consider.

First, the price you pay for cord blood storage doesnít guarantee that the blood will be usable in the future. While most responsible blood banks take all possible precautionary steps to maintain the integrity of the blood thatís entrusted to them for storage, doctors sometimes refuse to use blood stored in private or family banks because their storage criteria may not be the same as those used by public banks.

In addition, if the child who donated the blood develops a disease in the future, then their cord blood carries the same genetic instructions and canít be used for treatment. There are also issues of typing and matching Ė one child's blood may not be a match for a sibling, for example. Thereís also the issue that, should you need blood from a public bank and youíve previously donated to a public bank, your donation is still available to you if it hasnít already been previously used and is an appropriate match.

There are also issues of volume. The amount of stem cells in umbilical cord blood is only enough for a large child or small adult. While researchers are working to grow stem cells before transplanting them, itís more common that a person needing a transplant would need to receive more than one unit of cord blood.

If youíre considering storing your child's umbilical cord blood in a private cord blood bank, know what youíre getting for your money. Find out if the bank is accredited and how it stores the cells for future use.

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