Cord blood is something that most people assume that they will never need, though many people find themselves or the people that they love in a position where cord blood is definitely needed. Cord blood can be taken from a private bank or a public storage bank, depending on the arrangements that have been made in the past. The process of getting the blood will differ depending on where you get the blood.
The Benefits of Privately Stored Cord Blood
The main benefit of privately stored cord blood is that you know where it is, and if it was from the person that needs the cord blood or stem cells, you know that there will be a match made. HLA matching is not a big deal at all when the source of the cord blood and the recipient are the same, making the process of finding the much needed stem cells much more efficient. In situations where a cure or help from stem cells is needed sooner rather than later, pulling privately stored cord blood is the best option. When the stem cells used are from the recipient there is a lot less chance of rejection and life threatening conditions such as graft-versus-host disease. If an option, ones own cord blood is always the most favorable choice for stem cell transplantation.
The Benefits of Publicly Stored Cord Blood
Even if you do not have your own cord blood stored, you can still receive the stem cells that you need from a public bank. Only 25% of people will find a match in their own family, meaning most people in need of stem cells or cord blood have to turn to public banks. HLA matching is very important when working with a public bank, but the shear quantity of blood available at these public banks is a huge benefit as you are likely to find a match. Registries are available to doctors searching for matches for their patients, making the search for stem cells quite simple. Of course, having your own cord blood or that of your siblings available would be the best scenario, but public banks make stem cells available to everyone, everywhere.
There really is no difference between the blood stored at private and public cord blood banks, except if you have yours privately stored and then the difference is that you know the cells are a perfect match to your current cells and are less likely to be rejected. Your own cord blood is always the best option, but public cord blood banks make it possible to get them without it. Either way, cord blood can save lives or a match can be found for most people, even if it takes some looking to get the perfect match.