Cord Blood Donation Program

Cord Blood Donation Program operates within Bloodworks Northwest, an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition blending volunteerism, medical science and research to advance transfusion medicine and improve patient care.

A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks Northwest serves patients in nearly 90 hospitals and clinics across the Pacific Northwest. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia, and traumatic injuries depend on the care and services we provide.

Since the first successful umbilical cord blood transplant in 1988, more than 7,000 transplants have been performed in children and adults to address inborn errors of metabolism, hematopoietic malignancies, and genetic disorders of the blood and immune system.

Stem cells collected by the cord blood program are made available to patients worldwide through Be the Match®. They can be used to help patients with anemias, bone marrow failure, blood cancers and immune deficiency disorders.

Cord blood is especially useful for patients of racially or ethnically diverse backgrounds, and for patients needing a transplant quickly.

Collection Model

The Cord Blood Donation Program uses all-volunteer collectors from delivery room teams who are trained by our staff. This means that Bloodworks Northwest staff do not directly participate in cord blood collections. In order to meet regulatory requirements, all collected cord blood units must meet specific handling criteria, as well as be accompanied by appropriately completed documentation.

All collected cord blood units must arrive at our processing location in Seattle within 42 hours from collection to be eligible for processing. To ensure acceptability of the product, all cord blood collectors receive training for the process of collecting, packaging, labeling, and shipping of cord blood units.

The Cord Blood Donation Program staff train hospital personnel on collection procedures, gather collected cord blood, screen donor mothers, test the cord blood for infectious diseases, process the blood to obtain a high concentration of stem cells, store the cord blood and distribute it to patients for transplantation. Collaboration between Bloodworks Northwest and participating hospitals and laboratories is essential for the functioning of this program.

Hospitals Served

The Cord Blood Donation Program has currently established collections operations in 10 hospitals in Washington and Hawaii, with participating volunteer collectors exceeding 1,000.


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