Types of Cord Blood Donations

Recent breakthroughs in stem cell research – and in particular, cord blood donation and storage procedures – have also opened up a variety of options when it comes to cord blood donations. This progress has ensured that individuals who require cord blood transplants can receive the proper treatment necessary to treat their conditions from the type of cord blood donor most suited to their needs. So what are the types of cord blood donations and how are they classified? And what do these cord blood donation procedures entail for both donor and recipient?

Types of Cord Blood Donations
There are three categories of cord blood donation procedures. These are classified as follows:

altruistic umbilical cord donations: in this type of donor situation, the donor is not related to the recipient. Cord blood is used as part of treatment as long as it is compatible with the patient and is accordingly provided to those in need. Approximately 60 000 samples of this type of cord blood donation are available worldwide for transplant.

directed umbilical cord blood donation in at-risk families: a family donates cord blood to a relative or close family member, particularly in cases in which there is a known genetic disease. It is then stored and is available for treatment of any individuals in the family who acquire the defect.

directed umbilical cord blood donation in low-risk families: this type of cord blood donation is used in cases of families with no known genetic disorders. The chance of acquiring a disease that is curable by cord blood is 1 to 300 or 400.

How Are Cord Blood Donations Classified?
Umbilical cord blood donation procedures are classified according to the purpose of the donor.

For example, in the case of altruistic donation, the individual will choose to donate her baby’s cord blood for public usage. Directed cord blood donations are used in order to treat family members while private donations can be used as needed later on according to individuals’ needs.

What is Involved in Cord Blood Donation Procedures?
If you are 18 years of age or older and in good health, you will be able to make a cord blood donation.

Ideally by the 34th week of your pregnancy, you should contact a participating hospital or cord blood bank regarding your wish to donate your baby’s cord blood. You will then receive the necessary information regarding terms and policies as well as be required to submit your maternal and family health history in order to assess your eligibility for the program. You will also be required to submit a blood sample in order to test for infectious diseases and other health conditions.

After delivery, your baby’s cord blood will be collected, frozen and stored.

Upon a match with a patient who requires a transplant, the cord blood will be matched against the patient’s needs. If there is an appropriate fit, the transfusion will be performed.

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