Why Collect Cord Blood?
Umbilical cord blood can be used to treat more than 80 diseases, including blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Obstetricians and other delivery team members are essential in helping these patients get the lifesaving transplant they need through donated cord blood. Research shows that OBGYNs play a significant role in educating and encouraging mothers about cord blood donation.
Cord Blood Collection Best Practices
Collection methods differ for public banking and can make all the difference in producing a bankable unit. You play a key role in collecting high quality cord blood units that are free of contamination and rich in total nucleated cell count. Learn more below:
- Quick Guide to Collecting Cord Blood for Public Donation (PDF) : Contains key elements necessary for high-quality cord blood unit collection. Contact your local public cord blood bank to request copies.
- CME Activity: Obstetrician's Role in Increasing Patient's Access to Cord Blood : learn how cord blood is used in transplantation, tools for helping parents decide to donate, and information on the proper collection procedures and process.
- Public Cord Blood Collection: Background and Technique video : reviews best practices for public cord blood collection. This video is not considered training.
Cord Blood Use in Transplantation
Donated cord blood is being increasingly used as a source of hematopoietic stem cells in allogeneic transplantation. View cord blood transplant outcomes and trends data .
Physicians may consider umbilical cord blood for patients who need an unrelated donor and have an uncommon HLA type (making it difficult to identify a full match), or are in urgent need of a transplant. Umbilical cord blood transplants are used more often for pediatric patients, but cord blood use has grown in both adult and pediatric populations. Learn more about the expanding use of cord blood in transplant .
How We Help
We have 18 public cord blood banks in our network that work with hospitals across the United States to collect umbilical cord blood for donation and for listing on Be The Match Registry. We partner with these banks to help educate parents, provide education to medical professionals, and also to facilitate the cord blood transplants. Visit BeTheMatch.org to find a list of hospitals that collect cord blood for public donation, and the banks that work with these hospitals.
Cord Blood Banking Options
Expectant parents have many cord blood banking options including donating to a public cord blood bank, storing cord blood in a family cord blood bank or saving cord blood for a sibling who has a medical need. Several medical societies and agencies have issued statements on cord blood banking options:
- American Academy of Pediatrics official policy statement, Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion on Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and FAQs about cord blood donation
- American Medical Association ethical guidelines for physicians about umbilical cord blood
- American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation position statement and committee report on cord blood collection and preservation and a guide for parents
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cord Blood Information
Resources for Expectant Parents
As you discuss cord blood donation with your patients, please feel free to use any of the resources we offer: