Very interesting information about private cord blood banking. I did not know public banking was available, though when my daughter was born I do remember them talking about collecting cord blood.

Docs Should Tell All About Cord Blood Banks
01.31.08, 12:00 AM ET

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) — Doctors should tell pregnant patients considering umbilical cord blood banking about the advantages and disadvantages of public versus private cord blood banks, new guidelines state.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued its revised Committee Opinion in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The ACOG also said doctors who recruit patients for for-profit cord blood banks should disclose their financial interests or other potential conflicts of interest to patients and their families.

Initially, private facilities were developed to store umbilical cord blood stem cells from newborns for potential future use by the same child or a family member in case of disease. But there are now public banks that store, for free, stem cells that can by used by anyone who needs them.

“Patients need to be aware that the chances are remote that the stem cells from their baby’s banked cord blood will be used to treat that same child — or another family member — in the future,” Dr. Anthony R. Gregg, chairman of the ACOG’s Committee on Genetics, said in a prepared statement.

The ACOG also recommends that doctors inform patients that there is no reliable estimate of a child’s likelihood of using his or her own saved cord blood later in life. Experts estimate the likelihood at one in 2,700, or even lower. Patients should also be advised that it’s not known how long cord blood can successfully be stored.

In addition, pregnant women need to be told that cord blood stem cells can’t be used to treat genetic diseases in the same child from which they were collected, because those stem cells would have the same genetic mutation.

“Cord blood collected from a newborn that later develops childhood leukemia cannot be used to treat that leukemia for much the same reason,” Gregg said.

7 thoughts on “Is Private Cord Blood Banking Worth it?

  1. Absolutely worth it! To have the potential cure for diseases treated 5-10-20 years from now? How can it not? You have only one chance to save it. I’m glad we did.

  2. you are right, there is a “potential.” what concerns me is there are diseases where the child’s own cells cannot be used (ie genetic disorders) and they do not seem to know the “lifespan” of these cells. While I think it is a great option for those who can afford it, the chances of needing it are rare (though I know it is priceless when you actually need it.) And I have heard one story of a family who’s child was treated with cells from his own cord blood and “cured.” I will need to try and find that story back. I am curious as to the stastics, such as what percentage of the time can a child’s own cord blood be used to treat a diagnosed disease? Interesting, but this article raised some good questions. At very least, those who cannot afford or don’t see a benefit to private banking can at least go for public banking and help other people who can benefit. Because whether you choose to bank or not, there is solid proof that cord blood is rich with life-saving cells.

  3. My child was given a second chance at life because a mother PUBLICALLY banked her baby’e cord blood. PUBLIC cord blood banking cord blood saves life. Private banks pray on fear to have new parents shell out thousands of dollars. I would hate to think my daughter would have died from Leukemia because her match was rotting away in a private bank! By the way even if we had saved her cord blood, it would have been rejected by our oncologist as potentially reintroducing the disease we were attempting to cure her from.
    If you can, please bank publically. The only reason to bank privately is in case of known risk, siblings in need of bone marrow transplants. Alll else is nothing short of paranoia. Spend that money on electrical outlet covers, and child-proofing your home – a greater risk to the health of your baby!

  4. It is much better to have cord blood saved and not want it rather than need it and not save it, this applies to both Private and Public cord blood banking. Why throw away this most valuable source of potential life saving cells.

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