Cord Blood Program
Did you know your baby’s cord blood could save a life?
The blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a child is referred to as cord blood and is a rich source of stem cells for blood and marrow transplants. Approximately seven out of every 10 blood and marrow transplant patients are unable to find matching donors within their families and therefore must receive transplants from the donor registry.
Cord blood is used to treat leukemia, thalassemia and more than 80 other diseases. Expectant mothers can donate their cord blood by completing forms online, at their hospital or request donation forms be mailed to their home. Donors must be at least 18, having a single birth, at least 34 weeks gestation and be in general good health. There is no cost to donate.
Cord blood collection does not impact the delivery of the baby as it is not taken until after the baby has been born. It is collected painlessly outside of the mother’s body so there is no harm to either the child or mother. The cord blood is then sent to a processing center where the cells are cryopreserved. Properly frozen stem cells remain viable for decades.
In the past, umbilical cords and placental tissue were just discarded as medical waste. Now parents can choose to preserve this material for the potential benefit of the community.
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