Cord Blood Banking

After a baby is born, blood remains in the cord and placenta.  This blood has “stem” cells that can be saved (banked) for future use.  It is possible that stem cells can be used to treat certain diseases.

Cord blood can be banked “privately” or “publically”.  Cord blood placed in a private blood bank is saved for use by the donor; these are called directed donations.  The bank will charge a fee for the collection and a yearly fee for storage.  Cord blood donated to public blood banks can be used by anyone needing the blood and there is not a collection or yearly storage fee.  Several medical criteria must be met before a public bank can accept the blood.

Arrangements for cord blood banking must be made prior to the delivery, usually several weeks.  The expectant mother must bring the collection kit to the hospital.  No one knows how long stem cells can be stored.  Currently, only a limited number of diseases can be treated using stem cells.  The chance that the donor will use a directed donation is very low – less than 1/2500.

For information about public blood banks contact The National Marrow Donor Program (