Advice Column, Cyrosave, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby, Recently

Choosing the Right Stem Cell Bank: Private, Government, or Community – What Parents Should Consider

  • Category Advice Column, Cyrosave, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby, Recently

Some of the earliest decisions that parents face, can be amongst the most challenging. The choices that parents must make before and after the birth of their baby can have long-term implications for their future health. These days, one of these major decisions includes whether to collect and store the cord blood and tissue of your new-borns umbilical cord and placenta during delivery. Then there is also the question about the choice of the various types of stem cell banks.

There are three types and options for stem cell banks. These are:

Public Stem Cell Banks

In South Africa, there is no public cord blood bank available, as the government does not provide a facility for collecting and storing cord blood samples. At public stem cell banks, families can choose to donate the cord blood, but in doing so, they relinquish ownership of the sample, making it unavailable for their own or their family’s use.

This absence of a public cord blood bank poses challenges for families in South Africa who may require cord blood stem cells for potentially life-saving treatments in the future. To address this limitation, families may need to explore private cord blood banking options, which come with associated costs and ongoing maintenance fees. Private banks allow individuals to store their baby’s cord blood exclusively for their own use, providing a potential source of compatible stem cells if needed. However, the availability of private cord blood banking ensures that families have an alternative for preserving cord blood in South Africa, despite the lack of a public option.

Community Stem Cell Banks

If individuals decide to bank their baby’s stem cells with a community bank, they will incur lower costs for registration, processing, and storage. However, the trade-off is that they do not have exclusive rights to the sample for their own family’s use. Typically, the initial banking period in such cases is limited to 10 years.

Community banking of cord blood is open to everyone, meaning there is no guarantee that the donating family will be able to access these cells if they ever require them. Public and community banking operates on the principle of donation, allowing anyone in need to potentially utilize the donated stem cells if they are a compatible match.

Unfortunately, if a family needs the stem cells in the future but they are no longer available to them, obtaining donor stem cells becomes a significant financial challenge. The cost of acquiring donor cells can range from R600 000 to R1 million. Additionally, the search for a suitable donor can be a time-consuming process, taking months. In cases of life-threatening diseases, this delay can be a critical obstacle for individuals and their families, leaving them with limited options.

Private Stem Cell Banks

Private cord blood banking offers individuals a means to ensure the future health of their family. The process involves an initial cost for the collection kit, processing of the sample, and subsequent storage fees. However, flexible payment plans are often available to accommodate varying financial circumstances. Typically, the storage period spans 20 years, and the associated fees can be paid on a monthly, annual, or upfront basis. Moreover, it is possible to extend the storage term beyond the initial 20 years.

The cost of private cord blood banking should be viewed as a form of lifetime insurance for one’s family, rendering it highly affordable. By opting for this option, the stored samples remain exclusively accessible to the donor and their immediate family, ensuring immediate availability in the event of a medical treatment requirement. Additionally, there is a 25% chance that the stored samples will be an exact match for siblings with the same parents, and a 50% chance of being a match for the parents themselves. This significantly enhances the potential benefits of private cord blood banking for family members who may require stem cell treatments in the future.

CryoSave is your dedicated premier private family stem cell bank.

Our stem cell products are stored exclusively for your family’s use. Our ultimate focus is to ensure the highest quality service delivery and maintenance of your child’s precious stem cells.

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