There are a few key reasons to choose a private bank like Americord over a public banking option.
Presently, none of the public banks are able to release mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the cord or placental tissue for use. The ability to successfully store and extract these cells has only become feasible comparatively recently and public banks have not caught up with the practice. These cells possess some of the greatest potential for medical treatment advancement, but public banks cannot facilitate their use.
A donation to a public bank means that there is no guarantee your children can get their own stem cells back if they ever have need for a stem cell transplant. 70% of those waiting for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant cannot find a matching donor. And a person who needs stem cell treatments is more likely to have positive, safe results if they receive their own cells or cells from a related donor (ideally a sibling). According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, the one-year survival rate for patients treated with a sibling’s stem cells is approximately 63 percent. With stem cells from an unrelated donor, the survival rate drops to 29 percent. In addition, unrelated stem cells also put the patient at a much greater risk for developing potentially fatal GvHD (20 percent vs. 5 percent).
Multiple studies have shown that more than half of potential cord blood donors are not eligible for public donation. Depending on the public bank, only 5-40% of donations are actually accepted. That means that the valuable resources that are a definitive match for your child are not actually getting to someone in need.
Even if the donated stem cells are accepted, they are prohibitively expensive to use. The average cost of withdrawing a single unit of stem cells from a public cord blood bank is $36,000. With a private bank like Americord, once you pay to bank the cells, you can withdraw them for free at any time.