When looking for cord blood banks, there are many aspects to consider before entrusting any of them with the most precious treasure for you and maybe even your baby's health. We will get to this later on. First, let us see some types of banks and their characteristics.
Family banks, or private banks, are those that collect the cord blood, transport it to a specialized lab, extract the stem cells and store them afterwards. In these banks, you, as a parent, have total ownership of the cells until the child reaches adulthood. Sometimes, the collected stem cells of the first born are not compatible with his own body, but this does not make them useless, though. They can help you or other children you may have.
Even if we are to assume that no one in the family is compatible, you can donate them to someone who is compatible, but, keep in mind that, in this case, while you may save a life, you give up the cells forever.
This brings us to the second type of cord blood banks - the public ones. Here, the cord blood is stored by type, in order to keep donors anonymous. The cost of collecting and storing is not supported by the donor, because they are neither owners nor beneficiaries of the cord blood.
Now that you know what type of bank to go to, you should also know that banks are different in terms of the services and benefits they provide. You should be looking for one with the following characteristics.
- Revolutionary mindset and mission, meaning the courage to use the stem cells even in uncommon situations, if they could save the life of a loved one, on multiple types of diseases, even if there is no guarantee that the treatment will work.
- Accreditation - An accreditation from both national health authorities and associations should weigh heavily on your decision as to which bank to choose. Many banks, especially the private ones, are certified and licensed both in Canada and in the USA.
- Quality - In all aspects, from the way the cord blood is collected and transported to the way the cells are stored, to the customer services provided, the tools and equipment used in the facilities and the doctors' expertise, quality matters and can make a difference between a successful stem cells treatment and a failed one.
- Courier company The bank you work with should either provide courier services or work with a reliable courier company, Toronto based or not, to ensure that the cord blood is transported to them in a safe and timely manner.
Research and carefully comparing offers and reviews will surely help you find the best cord blood bank for you and your baby.