Private vs. public cord blood banks

So you’ve made the big decision to bank your or your child’s stem cells. But here comes the next step – deciding which cord blood bank to entrust with storing the precious stem cell sample.

Of course, your research tick list probably includes industry licenses, accreditations and treatment success stories. But are you aware of all the differences between public and private cord blood banks? They can be unclear and therefore misunderstood by many parents, which is why we’re laying the two side by side to set the record straight.

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each will help you choose the best stem cell banking solution for you and your family.

Private cord blood bank

Cord blood banks collect and store clients’ umbilical cord stem cells for potential future treatments. Privately banked stem cells are stored solely to be used by the donor or a member of the donor’s family. This type of bank offers a form of health insurance to each family, in case a member is diagnosed with a stem cell-treatable disease in the future.

Public cord blood bank

Public cord blood banks are run by government or charity. Your sample becomes part of a collection that can be matched to and used by members of the public. If a sample is required for treatment, those registered to a public bank must request to find a match within this stem cell pool.

Private vs. public comparison

Private cord blood bank

Only you and your immediate family can access your sample

A collection fee and annual storage fee are typically charged

The sample is a 100% DNA match to the donor and 25% match to their sibling

A strong DNA match guarantees a higher success rate of potential treatments

There are a few private cord blood banks in the UK to choose from. Each varies in size, level of experience, cost and accreditation

Public cord blood bank

Your sample is publicly available to anyone with a need for treatment

Collection and storage is free

If the need for a stem cell transplant arises, you apply to find a suitable sample DNA match within the bank’s pool of samples

Sample success rate of treatments can vary, depending on how close the match is

You can store your stem cells publicly with organisation such as the NHS and Anthony Nolan

In summary, the main benefits of public cord blood banks are that they are free to store and the sample could be used to help others. NHS and could most likely help someone else in need of a sample. However, finding a sample DNA match plus waiting lists on public services make this route less ideal, should you need urgent stem cell treatment.

By choosing a private cord blood bank to collect and store your child’s stem cells, they are a perfect DNA match for that child, a close match to family members, and readily available for use in treatment. The cost of the service gives peace of mind that your sample will be securely stored exclusively for you and your family, for up to 25 years.

How does Future Health Biobank compare?

See how we measure up against other private stem cell banks in the UK.

Once you’ve decided that Cord Blood Banking is for you, you then need to decide which biobank you’re going to trust with your baby’s sample. Here’s why we think you should choose us;

The world’s most accredited stem cell bank

More samples stored then any other UK bank

Future Family Insurance free for two years