Cord Blood Program
The San Diego Blood Bank's Cell Therapy Program is moving forward, with the recent signing of cord blood collection agreements with Scripps Health and Palomar Health.
In the past, when a baby was born, the umbilical cord was thrown away. But today blood from the umbilical cord can be collected after a baby's birth and donated to a public cord blood bank like the one being created at the San Diego Blood Bank. That cord blood can help someone with a life-threatening disease.
If a woman chooses to donate umbilical cord blood, labor and delivery is not affected. No blood is taken from the baby, only from the umbilical cord after the baby is born. After the cord blood is collected, it will be stored in the Cell Therapy Center at the San Diego Blood Bank's headquarters.
When a patient needs a transplant, his or her doctor will search the National Marrow Donor Program Registry (NMDP) for a matching cord blood unit or adult marrow donor. If a cord blood unit is found to be the best choice, the cord blood is transplanted directly into the patients bloodstream where the healthy blood cells begin replacing the patient's damaged cells and restoring the patient's immune system.
Because cord blood doesn't have to match a patient's tissue type as close as donated marrow, more patients are able to receive transplants than ever before. Patients are more likely to match tissue types with someone who shares their racial or ethnic heritage. More than 40 percent of cord blood units used in NMDP transplants go to ethnically or racially diverse patients.
Donating to a public cord blood bank is free. Donating to this bank, just like the blood bank, means the cord blood is available to any patient who needs a transplant. It is not reserved for the donor's family's use. People who use a private cord blood bank to store their baby's cord blood for exclusive use by their family, are charged a fee for collection as well as an annual storage fee. SDBB will also provide collection and storage for private family use as well as the public bank.