The decision to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public blood bank is easy to make when you come to understand how stem cell transplants work.
How it Works
Each collection of cord blood contains between 50 and 100 mls of blood, with the usual collection containing about 75 mls. A sample this small does not contain enough stem cells to allow for a successful transplant, even for a child, so using a private cord blood bank means that the sample will in all likelihood be wasted, since it is not large enough for the purpose. A public blood bank, on the other hand, can combine that sample with other compatible samples, creating a mixture of stem cells that together are enough to produce a successful transplant. In addition, many people cannot benefit from their own stem cells, and need the stem cells of others in order to cure a disease.
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Know the Advantages
Another advantage to using a public cord blood bank is that very few people, comparatively, will ever have need of a blood stem cell transplant, and the chances are high that your child will never need their cord blood sample. Those who do need that sample, however, cannot access it if it is stored in a private cord blood bank. It is much more efficient – both medically and financially – to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank, since not only does it mean that he or she would have a better chance of a successful cure through a stem cell transplant done through a public cord blood bank, but they do not charge you for collection or storage of the sample. In addition, instead of the sample sitting unused for years, and never being needed, it can be used to save a life. And perhaps, if your child ever needed a stem cell transplant, that would be made possible by other generous donors.