Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Umbilical Cord Blood Donation
What is umbilical cord blood donation? What will the umbilical cord blood be used for?
After the delivery of the baby, the excess umbilical cord blood is collected from the discarded umbilical cord and placenta. It is then donated to a state wide public cord blood bank. It is stored at the Puget Sound Blood Center until it is needed. The umbilical cord blood can be used in place of bone marrow for life saving transplants in patients with cancers such as leukemia.
How much will it cost? Who can donate?
Since the umbilical cord blood is donated to a public cord blood bank and not privately stored, there is no cost. Healthy moms over age 18 having a normal pregnancy are eligible to donate.
If my child later develops leukemia, would the donated cord blood be available for transplant? Would it be available for other members of our family?
No. Umbilical cord blood contains the same kinds of cells as those found in bone marrow. Leukemias are cancers of the bone marrow cells. Transplanting the same cells back would allow the cancer to start again.
The best source of cells is normal cells from someone else. Donated cord is not stored for use of family members as this is a public bank.
When do I have to decide? How do I arrange to donate? The decision should be made by your 6th month. Your provider can give you more information. If you would like to donate call Hawaii Cord Blood Bank at 983-BANK and they will guide you through the process.