Cord blood is the blood that is left over in the umbilical cord. This cord blood has lots of stem cells which can renew themselves and mature into red blood cells. Stem cells have been show to help cure some illness that can occur later in life in both the infant and in family members, such as those needing a stem cell transplant
At some point in the pregnancy the topic of collecting the cord blood occurs. Each individual needs to decide for themselves regarding the desire to collect cord blood. The reason for the early discussion is due to having the right equipment and collection kit available for the birth of the baby. The company the will be preserving the blood will have a specific consent form that needs to be completed ahead of time.Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood is collected after the baby is born. Cord blood is taken from the umbilical cord and/or placenta after the baby is born. Once it is collected it is then stored in a cord blood bank. These are both private and public banks and usually have the capability of storing the blood for long periods of time. There is usually a fee involved in having cord blood stored in private banks.
Donating cord blood
There as some public cord blood bank that store cord blood that has been donated. Once the blood is sent there and processed it then goes into a registry for anyone looking for that specific type of blood cells. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Society for Blood Marrow Transplantation recommends the use of public storage of cord blood. The downfall is that if you or a member of your family is in need for the cord blood it may not be available.
For more information on Stem Cells visit the National Institute of Health Click here:
For information on State bank of cord blood visit The National Marrow Donor Program The National click here
Or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Services click here
Here is a list of cord blood bank registries click here
Here is a video from Good Morning America on the common questions about cord blood banking: