Umbilical cord blood contains potentially life-saving hematopoietic stem cells. It offers several distinct advantages over bone marrow or peripheral stem cells when used in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Since its first successful use in 1988, umbilical cord blood transplants have helped many children and adults fight against certain inborn errors of metabolism, blood-born cancers, and genetics disorders of the blood and immune system.
There are still ongoing research in using umbilical cord blood stem cells in areas of regenerative medicine and infectious disease.
If you decide to bank your infant’s umbilical cord blood, please notify your doctor.
But, please be advised that:
- Although your doctor will make an effort to collect your infant’s umbilical cord blood at the time of birth, the medical care of the mom and newborn will not be delayed or compromised for this collection process.
- The use of one’s own stem cells is sometimes not possible. Most conditions potentially treated by their own umbilical cord blood are already in his/her own cells and, therefore, the stored blood cannot be used to treat the same person.
- The chance that a child or family member develops the condition that can be treated with autologous umbilical cord blood transfusion is rare.
- Your doctor neither recommends nor discourages against private umbilical cord blood banking, as this is a personal choice.
- Please note that if you decide to bank your infant’s umbilical cord blood, your doctor will receive a professional collection fee from the chosen cord blood banking company.
ACOG Committee Opinion Number 648, Dec. 2015