FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an umbilical cord blood unit?

Q: Are cord blood stem cells different than other types of stem cells?

Q: What is the difference between private cord blood banking and public cord blood donation?

Q: Are umbilical cord blood stem cells the same as embryonic stem cells?

Q: Will it cost me to donate cord blood?

Q: Who will use my child’s donated cord blood?

Q: Why didn’t my doctor talk to me about cord blood options?

Q: What are the risks of donating cord blood?

Q: Why don’t more people donate cord blood?

 

Q: What is an umbilical cord blood unit?

A: A cord blood unit is the term used for the blood collected from the umbilical cord after a baby is born. The cord blood collection process is not painful to either the mother or baby and takes only a few minutes. Cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases.

Q: Are cord blood stem cells different than other types of stem cells?

A: Yes. Cord blood stem cells are unique in a number of ways. Because these stem cells are the “youngest” form of stem cells, they more easily adapt, which means that the donor and recipient do not have to be a perfect match. This sets cord blood apart from bone marrow stem cells, the most commonly used source of stem cells. Bone marrow stem cells are not readily available and collection is painful.

Q: What is the difference between private cord blood banking and public cord blood donation?

A: Private cord blood banking requires a fee so that your baby’s cord blood is banked for his/her own future use or use for a family member. Public cord blood donation, means that your baby’s cord blood is genetically cataloged and immediately available to doctors to treat patients or to be used in clinical trials.

Q: Are umbilical cord blood stem cells the same as embryonic stem cells?

A: No. Embryonic stem cells are taken from an unborn fetus. Umbilical cord blood is collected after the baby is born. Cord blood is non-controversial because neither the baby nor the mother is harmed from the collection process.

Q: Will it cost me to donate cord blood?

A: There is no cost for donating. The cost of processing, testing and storing the cord blood is covered by Celebration Stem Cell Centre.

Q: Who will use my child’s donated cord blood?

A: Donated cord blood can be used to treat a long list of diseases and for medical research in clinical trials. Many patients in need of a bone marrow transplant can also utilize cord blood for treatment. Since cord blood does not have to match a patient’s tissue type as closely as donated bone marrow does, a match is more easily found. Doctors will select a cord blood unit that matches the patient and administer the transplant in a hospital or surgery center.

Q: Why didn’t my doctor talk to me about cord blood options?

A: Doctors are very busy and cord blood banking information is not a priority for physicians. Many may not be well-versed in the benefits of cord blood preservation and research. In 2007, legislation was passed in Arizona that requires healthcare professionals to ask expectant mothers if they plan to bank their baby’s umbilical cord blood. The Celebration Stem Cell Centre is the only local storage bank that accepts donated cord blood and offers private banking.

Q: What are the risks of donating cord blood?

A: The donation of the cord blood does not harm the baby or mother. It is considered a safe medical procedure. The cord blood is collected after the birth of the baby; therefore, it will not interrupt the birthing experience. There is a very small window of time available for collection of the cord blood. It is necessary to contacting us before the 34th week of pregnancy to ensure you qualify to donate.

Q: Why don’t more people donate cord blood?

A: Unfortunately, cord blood donation is not a standard of care in all parts of the country, and because of this, many women are unaware of their right to preserve or donate their child’s cord blood. Of the four million births in the United States each year, 97% of women do not donate or bank their child’s cord blood and it is discarded as medical waste. Celebration Stem Cell Centre is dedicated to providing unbiased, factual information regarding cord blood and the need to preserve it.