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In 1988, physicians performed the first umbilical cord blood transplant on a 6-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia using a cord blood unit from an HLA-matched sibling. The success of this and subsequent cord blood transplants led to the establishment of cord blood banks that collect, process, tissue type and cryopreserve cord blood units (CBUs) for use in blood cell transplantation. Cord blood is being researched as an alternative cell source for hematopoietic reconstitution where an allogeneic transplant may be indicated. []

The blood in the umbilical cord and placenta is unique because it contains large numbers of blood-forming cells. The blood-forming cells from cord blood are being studied under research protocols as a new method for treating patients with life-threatening diseases. Blood-forming cells to treat these patients can come from donated bone marrow or peripheral (circulating) blood or cord blood.
Although some patients have a family member who can donate cells, 70% of patients will not find a matching donor in their family. Cord blood donations can give more patients hope of finding a match.
Cord Blood Donation Process
When a mother decides to donate her child's umbilical cord blood:
She looks for a cord blood bank in her community. (Because cord blood banking is relatively new, many communities do not have a cord blood bank.)
The cord blood bank asks the mother to complete a consent form and health history questionnaire and give a small blood sample.
The cord blood is collected after the baby's birth.
Doctors search the NMDP Registry of donors and cord blood units to find a match for their patients who need a transplant.
If selected, the cord blood unit is transplanted to a matching patient.

Umbilical Cord Blood Collection
Collecting cord blood poses no health risk to the mother or infant donor.
The cord blood is collected after delivery and would normally be discarded.
The cord blood is stored only with the mother's signed consent, and no collection is made if there are any complications during delivery.
After the baby's birth, the umbilical cord is clamped, breaking the link between the baby and the placenta.
Trained staff drain the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta. Methods vary somewhat at different hospitals. The blood is usually collected using a needle to draw the blood into a blood bag. The collection usually takes ten minutes or less.  
Amount Collected
On average, about three to five fluid ounces are collected from the umbilical cord.
If the amount is too small, there will not be enough blood-forming cells to be used for transplantation and the cord blood unit (CBU) will not be stored.
CBUs that do not meet the criteria for transplant may be used by researchers in the search for new and more effective medical uses for cord blood cells.
CBU Storage
The collected cord blood is taken to a laboratory where it is tested and processed.
— It is tested for signs of infection or other possible problems.
— It is tested for the HLA type, which is listed on the NMDP Registry and used to match the CBU with patients who need a transplant.
— Often, the red blood cells and plasma, which are not needed for transplants, are removed so the CBU takes less storage space.
— If the CBU meets eligibility standards, it is then stored in a plastic or vinyl bag in a liquid nitrogen freezer. It can be stored for a long time. Studies have shown good cell recovery after up to ten years of storage (Clin Exp Immunol 1997; 107, Suppl 1).
Studies are ongoing to determine the storage life of CBUs.
Process of Consent
The cord blood bank always gets the mother's written permission before banking the cord blood. The mother is also asked to provide a blood sample for infectious disease testing and to fill out health history forms.
All information that would identify the mother or infant donor is kept confidential at the cord blood bank.
The mother will be informed if tests performed on a sample of her blood or the umbilical cord blood show information that may be important for her or her baby to know for health purposes.
Last Updated: March 2007

COLLECTS FOR: Research & Transplants
PHONE: 1-877-LIFEBANKUSA (1-877-543-3226)
STORAGE: Cedar Knolls, NJ or Baton Rouge, LA
LifebankUSA  is one of only two banks that accepts donations mailed in from anywhere.   LifebankUSA is a subsidiary of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics , a biotech pharmaceuticals company (Nasdaq: CELG).   They primarily do business as a private cord blood bank.   The LifebankUSA public donation program can be found under the "Medical Professionals" section of their website, but the best way to get information is to phone.
LIfebankUSA is the first cord blood bank to routinely bank the stem cells from the placenta, in addition to the umbilical cord blood.  This is a separate process.  They recommend collecting blood from the umbilical cord in utero, then the placenta is delivered and cells are extracted from the placenta.
LifebankUSA encourages parents to donate the placenta, re

gardless of how they are banking the umbilical cord blood.
COLLECTS FOR: Transplants
COLLECTS FROM:  Selected hospitals in north Florida and south Alabama
PHONE: (352) 224-1600 or  334-1000
STORAGE: Shands Hospital at Univ of Florida, Gainesville, FL
This bank is a Participating Member of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) cord blood bank network.
LifeCord is a program of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, developed in cooperation with the University of Florida College of Medicine and the Shands at UF Stem Cell Laboratory. The medical director of LifeCord is John R. Wingard, M.D.  As of Jan 2006, collections are accepted from:
North Florida Regional Medical Center,
Shands at AGH,
Shands at UF,
Shands at LakeShore,
The Birthing Center,
The Patient's Corner,
Baptist South and Baptist East Hospitals in Montgomery, Alabama
East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Alabama — starting Feb 2006