One of the most exciting innovations in the medical community in recent years has been the advent of cord blood banks, and with them, the ability to cryogenically preserve an amount of your child’s stem cell producing umbilical cord blood, to be used for transplant in case of an emergency one day. This can replace bone marrow in many instances, and is often preferable, due to the fact that it precludes having to locate a donor – many times not an easy task.
So, what role do the cord blood banks play?
An important one, actually. First of all, there is a difference between public and private cord blood banks. Public banks accept donations of umbilical blood and do not charge a storage fee – however, the blood is not stored for the purpose of keeping for the one particular donor infant who it originally belonged to. Public cord blood banks distribute the cord blood they have stored to anyone with a medical emergency that might need a cord blood transplant.
Private banks, on the other hand, save your baby’s cord blood just for your baby and for no one else. Because the cord blood is being cryogenically preserved for one particular recipient, however, there is a substantial fee involved for collection and storage.
The advantage, of course, is that if your child is ever in need of a transplant, his or her own cord blood is safely waiting for them at the private cord blood bank.
There is, of course, some controversy – there are those who think it’s morally wrong to for a private institution to charge a fee to horde what should be publicly donated for the good of the community, and then there are those who feel that it is a parents right to use biological material belonging to their child in whatever way serves their own child’s best interest.
Source by Melanie Young