Cord blood collection is a completely painless procedure that does not interfere with the birth or with mother-and-child bonding following the delivery. There is no risk to either the mother or baby.
Cord blood is only collected after the baby is born and the cord is clamped and cut. A needle is inserted into one of the veins in the umbilical cord, allowing the blood to flow through tubing into a collection bag.
Cord blood collection does not require Blood Center staff to be present during the baby’s delivery.
Blood samples from the baby’s mother are needed to test for infectious diseases. No blood is taken from the baby.
Mothers who donate their baby’s cord blood complete a consent form and health history questionnaire.
There is no cost to you for donating.
What happens to your unit after it’s collected?
After the cord blood unit leaves the collection hospital, it is sent to our downtown Seattle location.
It is assigned a unique donor ID number (to ensure the donor’s confidentiality)
It is weighed and sampled, to determine if it meets minimum volume and cell count requirements
Units meeting all criteria are then connected to an automated processing machine.
The individual cord blood unit is separated into 3 different components.
A small sample of the red blood cells is archived for future testing and another sample is sent to test for bacterial growth.
The buffy coat contains the stem cells and is the portion that will be frozen and eventually used for patient transplant
A small amount of plasma is archived for future testing and another sample is sent to test for bacterial growth.
After slowly adding a cryoprotectant to keep the cells safe during the freezing process, the cord blood unit is ready to be frozen.
The cord blood unit is placed into a metal cartridge.
The cartridge is then placed into a small freezer, where a computer program regulates the freezing rate.
The cartridge, containing the now frozen cord blood unit, is placed into one of the storage racks that is kept in the large liquid nitrogen freezer.
The cord blood unit will remain frozen until a compatible recipient is located.