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Take a Look at Cord Blood Banking

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Cord Blood Banking Options

If you choose to bank cord blood, you can choose a public or private bank. Public banks operate much like blood banks. Cord blood donations become part of a public reserve. A computer registry keeps track of the available cord blood and shows all available matches for a given patient.

Public banks screen donors to rule out disorders or infections that could be passed to a recipient. A public bank will likely ask for a family medical history from both you and your baby's father. You might need to provide a blood sample the day after you give birth. Your baby will not need to give a blood sample.

Public banks do not charge a fee to collect or store cord blood.

Private banks keep cord blood cells in reserve in case your child or other family member needs it. Private banks generally charge $1,000 to $2,000 to collect cord blood at the time of delivery, and then charge a yearly storage fee of about $100.

Choosing a Cord Blood Bank

If you decide to donate cord blood to a public bank, ask the hospital or birthing center if it works with a cord blood bank. If not, the National Marrow Donor Program (marrow.org) has a list of registered cord blood banks in each state.

If you want to use a private blood bank, look into the following information to find a facility. Your doctor may have information on private cord blood banks in your area.

  • Financial Stability: Is the facility likely to stay in business?
  • Policies: What will happen to your cord blood if the facility goes out of business?
  • Practices: Does the facility process a large number of cord blood samples? Large banks are more likely to have good quality control.
  • Options: What will happen if you choose to change facilities or if you move? (Most facilities are not located locally, so if you move, you do not need to also move your cord blood.)
  • Cost: Can you afford the fees for up-front collection and yearly storage?
  • Will the storage fees will increase over time?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on July 11, 2014
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