Cord Blood Donation and Storage

A child's birth is a gift of joy to a family, and could offer the gift of life to others.

Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells that are crucial in lifesaving transplants, instrumental in ground breaking medical research and present a new pathway for treating diseases now considered untreatable. Stem cells have been used to treat more than 70 diseases, including blood cancers and sickle cell disease, in 35,000 patients worldwide.

Cedars-Sinai offers the most comprehensive options for banking and storing cord blood — the few ounces of blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery — through an exclusive agreement with CORD:USE, a leading cord blood bank.

Cedars-Sinai offers four options to families wanting to donate or store cord blood.

Cedars-Sinai offers a comprehensive set of options for families that want to donate or store their child's cord blood. Through an exclusive agreement with CORD:USE — an obstetrician-led team of experts in cord blood banking — the few ounces of blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery can be safely processed and then donated or stored for possible future use.

• Public bank: Anonymous donation to CORD:USE's public cord blood bank. If your donated cord blood meets the criteria, it will be made available to help patients who need a stem cell transplant. This option is provided free of charge to families.

• Private bank: Cord blood is preserved and stored by CORD:USE and then available for exclusive use by your family. This option is fee-based.

• Private bank + storage for possible generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the future: A portion of your child's stored cord blood is isolated for the possible later generation of iPSCs. The iPSCs are not generated unless requested or needed. The isolated portion can be converted to iPSCs at Cedars-Sinai at any time for possible future therapies. The fee for this option is the same as the cost for private banking + an additional $65.

• Private bank + generation of stem cells for future disease therapies: After the cord blood is collected and tested, a portion is converted to iPSCs at Cedars-Sinai and is stored at the medical center. The iPSCs at Cedars-Sinai may offer families timely access to important future disease therapies, if needed. The fee for this option is the same as the cost for private banking + an additional $5,650.

How is cord blood collected?

Cord blood collection takes place after a baby is born and the umbilical cord has been cut. It is then collected into a bag. The collected cord blood is packaged and shipped to CORD:USE and is processed by the laboratory within 48 hours of collection. There are no health risks to the baby or mother from cord blood collection.

Can I do both delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking?

Yes. If needed, obstetricians may wait before clamping or cutting the umbilical cord to allow more cord blood to stay with the baby, which is known as delayed cord clamping. Obstetricians and families do not need to alter their care plan for the mother or baby to accommodate cord blood collection.

When is cord blood used for transplantation?

Cord blood is one of three sources of stem cells used in transplants to treat patients with blood cancers and other hematologic malignancies. The other two sources are bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells. Cord blood has some advantages for use in transplantation. Rejections of a cord blood transplant are less frequent and less severe compared to a bone marrow transplant.

• Cord blood is an especially important resource for patients who do not have an immediate family member who is a match to donate bone marrow or stem cells for transplant. Published studies have found that cord blood units do not need to match a patient as closely as bone marrow or peripheral blood donations for a successful transplant.

• Cord blood also is helpful when a patient needs a transplant quickly. Because the units are stored and readily available, they may be a better option for a patient who cannot wait weeks or months to find a suitable bone marrow donor.

• These units are especially important for those from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds who have difficulty finding a suitable match through the National Marrow Donor Program bone marrow registry or other bone marrow donor registries.

We encourage you to discuss your options with your obstetric provider. For more information on the above programs, please call CORD:USE at 888-267-3873.