When you are expecting, one of the things that you are likely to be thinking of is Cord Blood Banking. This is a method of which blood of the umbilical cord that connects the mother and her new born is harvested and frozen.
Cord blood banking enables you to use the stem cells contained in the cord blood to treat major illnesses sometime in the future either for the baby or its close relations.
As of now, cord blood is used for treatment of blood and immune system related genetic diseases, cancers and other blood disorders.
There is only one main argument against cord blood banking, that this is very physiologically valuable blood and so could be very beneficial for the neonate to receive.
There is also some doubt raised as to the viability of frozen cord blood and its usability in the future, even though in theory, cryogenic freezing of cord blood can be done for an indefinite period of time.
Cord blood banking is of two types; public and private.
Private cord blood baking consists of having the cord blood collected and privately stored for the exclusive use of the baby, its family or persons authorized by them.
At the average cost of $2500 for the process, the long term commercial viability of the blood bank is an issue to be considered if one wants to ensure and that there is any probable use of the cord blood that has been banked.
Also the chances that privately banked cord blood will actually be used by the person banking it are very slim, about a 1 in 400 chance.
In certain countries, private cord blood banking is not legal if one does not belong to a high risk group. It is also unclear whether the amount of blood banked would be of a sufficient amount as required if actually required to be pressed into use.
Public cord blood banking: When cord blood is banked with a public institution it is delinked from the donor and there is no way of retrieving it for the donor’s own use at a later date.
These banking facilities are for the greater good and there is more chance of blood banked this way being brought into use. However there aren’t very many of these facilities since they are expensive to maintain and public cord blood banking facilities do not charge any storage facilities.