Unfortunately, cord blood donation is neither widely available nor widely known about in the UK. While awareness surrounding the area is growing, for some, cord blood donation remains a bit of a mystery, with misconceptions around the subject common. Here we take a look at common cord blood donation FAQs.
Common cord blood donation FAQs.
What is cord blood donation?
Cord blood donation; altruistic donation of your baby’s umbilical cord blood so that it may possibly be used to save the life of someone suffering from a blood or immune disease. When you donate cord blood it is placed upon international cord blood registries. If a patient is in need of a stem cell transplant, these registries will be searched for a suitable match. If such a match is found, that sample can then be released and used in a potentially life-saving transfusion.
Where can I donate my baby’s cord blood?
In the UK there are currently only 13 hospitals in which cord blood donation can take place. Further, as it can only occur in these 13, donation from home births is not possible. You can find a list of the 13 hospitals that accept cord blood donations here.
Can I retrieve my baby’s donated cord blood if needed at a later date?
No. Cord blood donations are placed on public registries and made available for public use. They are not kept specifically for individuals or their families. Should you or a member of your family require a cord blood transplant, the registries will be search for the best possible match, regardless of source. If your sample has already been issued to another patient in need of a transplant, you will be unable to use it.
Should I donate my baby’s cord blood?
Cord blood donation is a personal decision, and one that should be made considering the information on the Cord Blood Aware website and your own specific circumstances. Cord blood donation has the power to save lives, both through transplant and research, however you may also wish to consider storing your baby’s cord blood privately so that it is available for your baby and your family’s exclusive use. Given the potency of the stem cells it contains, donation of cord blood is always preferable to throwing it away.