Weighing the options of cord blood banks
Private family banking
• Family saves cord blood to use if the need arises.
• Everyone across the country has option to choose private banking.
• Parent(s) must pay initial fee of more than $2,000 for initial collection, transportation and processing, plus $100 to $200 in yearly storage fees. Cost is not covered by insurance.
• Transplant patients often recover better when they receive stem cells from a related donor, instead of an unrelated donor.
• Free or discounted private cord blood banking is available if there's a medical need in the baby itself, a sibling or parent.
• A typical cord blood collection only contains enough stem cells for a transplant in a large child or small adult.
Public donation banking
• Donor signs away all ownership of cord blood, which can be used for transplants or research.
• If you discover you need to use your donated cord blood and it's still available, the public cord blood banks will charge your medical insurance $30,000 to $35,000 for the release of a related donor cord blood collection.
• Public banking is only offered in 200 hospitals across the country because of limited funding and resources. Two banks, Cryobanks International Inc. and LifebankUSA, accept donations from anywhere in the U.S. on a limited basis every month. LifebankUSA typically uses donated cord blood for research purposes, while Cryobanks typically uses cord blood for transplants.
• Typically, the donation is free, unless ob-gyn charges collection fee that could cost up to $200.
• Donated stem cells could potentially save someone's life who needs it.
• All public banks are AABB accredited and are part of Be the Match (formerly known as the National Marrow Donor Program)
Source: Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation