About Cord Blood
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after your baby is born. It contains adult stem cells. The procedure is safe and painless for you and your baby. It does not interfere with the birthing process. And, if there is any concern about the safety of mother or baby, collection is not made. Your donation is important because blood is needed for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank
The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a public donor program that, in cooperation with other cord blood banks, serves as a worldwide resource for children and adults in need of a stem cell transplant.
The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank is committed to quality collection and storage of umbilical cord blood to provide stem cells for transplants and other cellular therapies. The program consists of community and donor education, cord blood collection, processing in the cord blood laboratory, release of the cord blood and evaluation of transplant outcomes.
A major feature of this program is the active involvement of doctors, midwives and the delivery staff at participating hospitals.These professionals play an important role in the donation process. Their voluntary support and cooperation are key to the success of this program because their involvement increases the willingness of expectant parents to participate. With their assistance, we hope to increase the percentage of all participating families as well as increase the diversity of donors from which cord blood is collected.
Advancing cures through the development of effective cellular therapy products, exceptional manufacturing practices, and innovative applications.
The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank will be a recognized center of excellence–collecting, processing, and distributing high-quality cord blood products for cellular therapy applications, and focusing on the development of effective cures through advancing the science of characterization, manufacturing, and translational research practices in preparation for transplantation and regenerative medicine therapies.
Umbilical cord blood is currently being used to treat malignant bone marrow diseases like leukemia and lymphoma, as well as congenital disorders like Fanconi’s anemia, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and severe combined immune deficiency.
Patients with non-malignant diseases such as severe aplastic anemia, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia are also benefiting from therapies using cord blood. The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank has distributed over 2,700 units for use in transplantation o treat over 80 different diseases.
Thanks to the nearly 180,000 families who have donated cord blood, there are over 28,000 cord blood units available for use in transplants.
Public and Private Cord Blood Banks
Private cord blood banks are available for parents who wish to store their child's cord blood specifically for the child or another matched family member. No one can access the blood except the parent or the child at the age of consent. This process must be coordinated with the private cord blood bank well in advance of your delivery. The cost for private storage ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars, plus a yearly storage fee.
When a donation is made to a public cord blood bank, such as the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank, the cord blood is donated with the hope it can help someone else in need. The blood is typed, frozen, stored, and listed with registries where it can be matched with people, anywhere in the world, who need a transplant. We apply the industry's highest quality standards to determine eligibility of cord blood units before they are stored for transplant purposes.
Public Cord Blood Bank
- No cost to donor
- Available to anyone in the world
- Required testing for infectious disease
- Subject to strict regulations for good manufacturing practices
Private Cord Blood Bank
- Initial fee plus storage fee
- Units available to donor & donor's family only
- Infectious disease testing not required
- Minimum regulations. Future use not based on disease treatment
Public cord blood banks are important
More than 70 percent of children and adults requiring a stem cell transplant do not have a family member match. Of those who don’t, only half will be able to find a donor through the national and international bone marrow registries. Cord blood that has been typed and frozen at a public cord blood bank offers children and adults the chance of finding a match for a transplant. Stored umbilical cord blood at a public cord blood bank can be shipped and used at a time that is best for the person needing it. By collecting umbilical cord blood from donors of all ethnic backgrounds, a larger number of patients will benefit.
Collections provided to the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank are processed in a fully operational, dedicated laboratory which is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP), licensed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
National Cord Blood Inventory
The National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) is included in the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 and provides some funding for the collection and storage of at least 150,000 cord blood units which will be available through the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program) to treat patients who need an umbilical cord blood or bone marrow transplant. The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank has been awarded a contract for the NCBI.