Eligibility Guidelines for Collecting Cord Blood Stem Cells
There is absolutely no pain or risk associated with collecting cord blood stem cells. This
procedure takes place immediately after the birth of the baby, and takes only a few minutes. When collecting cord blood stem cells, the medical team will simply clamp the umbilical cord after the removal of the baby, and begin the flow of umbilical cord blood into the collection system.
Collecting cord blood stem cells is an uncomplicated procedure as it takes place after
delivery. This is unlike the harvesting of stem cells from bone marrow which requires a
surgical procedure under anesthesia, is painful and invasive, and costly.
There are some eligibility guidelines that have to be met for collecting cord blood stem
cells. The donor must be 18 years or older, in good health and free from several infectious diseases as regulated by the FDA and CDC. For example, it is not recommended that a private bank accept a specimen from a mother who has a history of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B or C, West Nile Virus or Chagas’ Disease. Public banks have additional requirements which include rejection of donations from those who have had tattoos in the past twelve months.
As long as the woman is in good health, and is living in a community where collecting
cord blood stem cells is available, it is possible to donate the baby’s cord blood. Mothers have to choose the participating cord blood bank and consult her doctor for guidance
After collecting cord blood stem cells, the cord blood is sent to the cord blood bank to be
stored for potential future use. It may even be possible to use a privately stored cord blood specimen for another family member. Statistics and research show that there is a 1 in 2 chance that the baby’s cord blood stem cells would be a match for the biological mother and father and a 1 in 4 chance of being a match for biological siblings.