Traditionally, umbilical cord blood has been discarded as medical waste. In recent years, mothers also have had the option to bank their cord blood for family use – at a cost.
Now thanks to the California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program, mothers can donate their newborns' umbilical cord blood for public use in lifesaving transplantations or research, at no cost to themselves or their insurance.
All mothers giving birth at a participating hospital will be offered the opportunity to donate if staff is present and certain criteria are met, similar to the criteria for donating blood. The cord blood collection does not interfere with the birth plan and is safe for mom and baby, occurring after the birth.
In general, donation involves learning about options for cord blood and benefits of public cord blood banking, consenting to donate, and if the donation meets clinical criteria, maternal/family health history and a maternal blood sample are gathered to help the bank ensure the safety of the cord blood for future recipients of transplants.
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We welcome your questions and will talk to you about the donation process and how we can help.