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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

How You Benefit from a Private Cord Blood Bank

Umbilical cord blood contains a special type of cell known as a stem cell. Stem cells are unique in that they have the potential to become a number of different types of cells, which means that stem cells can be used to replace faulty cells. For example, if a person has leukemia – a cancer of the white blood cells – his or her own stem cell containing bone marrow may be damaged. Stem cells – typically introduced via donor bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant – can help to re-grow healthy tissues once the cancer has been eradicated.

If the transplant is successful, the new stem cells will produce healthy white blood cells and the person's leukemia will be considered to be in remission. However, the stem cells contained in the bone marrow can only produce blood cells and more stem cells that will produce blood cells. The stem cells contained in umbilical cord blood, however, have the potential to replace a greater number of different types of cells. In fact, there’s a large number of serious and potentially fatal diseases that can be treated by stem cells. These include leukemia, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and lymphomas – just to name a few. The list of diseases for which stem cells may be used as treatment in the future is also quite long.

If you choose to store your baby's umbilical cord blood in a private cord blood bank, you gain a number of benefits over storing that blood in a public cord blood bank. These benefits, however, aren’t without cost.

One of the chief benefits of choosing a private cord blood bank is that your baby's cord blood bank is reserved only for your use. If someone in your family needs a cord blood transplant and if your baby's cord blood is a good match, then it’s readily available for you to use. If you make a donation to a public bank, you have no assurance of getting your baby's cord blood back – however, there’s always the possibility that should you or a family member have a need, you’ll be the first to match that particular sample of blood. There’s also the possibility that cord blood donated to a public cord blood bank may have been previously used for an individual or for research purposes.

However, you should also be aware that there’s the possibility that your child won’t benefit from his or her own cord blood. If your child develops a genetic disease, for example, there’s always the possibility that the cord blood will carry the same genetic predisposition. In addition, there’s also only about a 25% chance that a family member will find a match in the umbilical cord blood of a particular child. When all cord blood registries are searched, that likelihood goes up to a 75% chance. There are also volume issues to consider. If you weigh more than 100 pounds, it’s unlikely that the stem cells contained in one child's umbilical cord blood will be sufficient to perform the transplant.

Still, if you want to know that your child's umbilical cord blood will be there for your exclusive use in the future and you have a reason to expect that it may be needed, then a private cord blood bank is your best choice.

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