A chance to save lives through the use of baby's umbilical cord, and there is no risk to the mother, unlike a bone marrow procedure. It contains stem cells which can save lives. Cord blood can only be harvested at birth. Additionally more stem cells can be collected via placenta cord banking. It's easier to match patients with cord blood transplants.
Public cord blood banks would save many lives
You save the cord blood for future use, and if you every need it is there. Before being stored there are tests done to insure its quality including: HIV and Hepatitis B & C, and tissue typing, to determine HLA type. Recovery is better from patients that are related. If your child ever needs it, it's there for them and they have better treatment options because of it. There is no reason not to save cord blood, but it can't be clamped too soon after birth.
For the transplants it causes less grafting. They have to have matching HLA types, which are inherited from your parents. There is a much better match with cord blood with siblings than other donor programs.
Banking cord blood costs the parents
Cord blood is processed by a laboratory, unlike bone marrow which is from a databank registry. The cord blood is frozen with liquid nitrogen, and monitoring. There are different banking possibilities both public and private.
The cost varies but it costs about $2000 for collection of a blood cord and $125 per year to maintain. and the rules are very strict. But there are also free donation institutions, although there isn't enough funding to maintain for the storage and processing of these programs, public banks are limited. There are financial programs available, based on medical need.
There has been controversy over the banking of cord blood donations
The assessment for future use by the year 2015, the bone marrow program estimates there will be 10,000 cord blood transplants yearly. It is very important to have repositories for the cord blood donations. There are many different blood and immune diseases that include genetic, cancers, and blood disorders that are treated with cord blood donations expanding the life span of an individual. Especially in children, can be life saving in rare cases where bone marrow is hard to find and life threatening.
Cord blood banking started in the United States but has been adopted all over the world now. More people should be aware of the benefits of cord blood banking and take advantage of the benefits from it.