Cord blood banking is a way to preserve valuable stem cells in your newborn’s umbilical cord, known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).
The blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord can be collected at birth and processed in a lab to extract the hematopoietic stem cells for potential future medical use.
Already approved by the FDA to treat over 80 diseases, the hematopoietic stem cells from your child’s umbilical cord blood can be cryogenically stored in a cord blood bank for at least 20 years, and possibly longer.
Cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other liquid tumors. In fact, the FDA has approved the use of cord blood as a treatment for over 80 diseases.
Your child’s cord blood can be collected, processed and cryogenically stored for the future so it will be there needed. Cord blood can be preserved in a private cord blood bank for a family’s exclusive use or donated to a public bank for anyone to use. Cord For Life® offers you both options, so you can decide when you are ready which is best for you and your family.
Cord blood collection is simple and painless. Before giving birth, you will need to get a collection kit sent to you by a cord blood bank. You simply bring the cord blood collection kit with you to the hospital.
The kit comes with everything your OBGYN or midwife will need to collect your child’s cord blood. After your baby is born, they will first clamp and cut the umbilical cord, then insert a needle into the umbilical cord to collect the blood in a special bag.
You simply call the cord blood bank, who will help you with packing the kit and arranging to pick-up the Collection Kit at the hospital and transport it to the lab for processing.
Umbilical cord blood can potentially save someone’s life. When your baby is born, the blood in their umbilical cord contains something unique. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC’s), the basic building blocks of life, are still in their umbilical cord. These hematopoietic stem cells are only available immediately after your baby is born.
At this point, you have one chance to collect the blood from your child’s umbilical cord, from which these important stem cells can be extracted and saved for potential future medical uses. Once saved in a cryogenic storage tank, these stem cells can be used to treat diseases that harm the blood and immune system, such as leukemia and certain cancers, sickle-cell anemia, and some metabolic disorders.
Umbilical cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSC’s). The FDA has approved the use of HSC’s from cord blood in the treatment of over 80 diseases, including a wide range of cancers, blood, and immune disorders.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used in transplants, where a physician infuses the saved stem cells into a patient’s bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the stem cells go to work healing and repairing damaged cells and tissue.
A parent can absolutely use their child’s cord blood for treatment as long as there is an HLA match between the two individuals. HLA (Human leukocyte Antigen) typing is used to match patients and donors. HLA are proteins — or markers — found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not.
A newborn’s cord blood can be used by other family members, including siblings, parents, and grandparents. The child’s blood type does not need to match the grandparent’s for the cord blood to be used. Instead, as long as the recipient is a qualifying HLA match to the child, the cord blood is safe to use. The matching process is similar to that used in matching an organ or bone marrow transplant.
Cord blood has been stored for up to 25 years and possibly longer. Since cord blood banking only began in the late 1980’s, there is no scientific data beyond this point to validate that cord blood can be viable for storage periods longer than this.
The cost of saving umbilical cord blood varies widely. The most important thing is to choose a cord blood bank that will give you the best possible outcomes for your family at a cost that fits your budget. At Cord For Life®, our fees first-year processing fee is $1,999, plus annual storage costs of $150. We offer flexible payment plans and discounted pre-paid storage options.
Cord blood banking is not covered by most insurance plans. However, families with a history of leukemia or other FDA approved conditions and an immediate need for a stem cell transplant may be eligible for insurance to cover some portion of the cord blood banking expense. It is best to check with your insurance company on what cord blood banking expenses are covered by your individual policy.
Cord blood banking may be tax deductible under certain circumstances. If your child or family member has a medical condition with an immediate need for an FDA approved treatment with cord blood, the cost of collection, processing, and storage may be tax deductible. It is best to check with your tax accountant to be sure.
Cord blood banking costs may be an eligible expense with your Medical FSA. Fees related to collection, processing, and storage of your child’s umbilical cord blood may be an eligible medical expense if they will be used for surgery of the child or family member in the near future (generally within one year).
Cord blood can be donated to a public bank to help save the life of someone in need. In fact, according to Be The Match, 14% of transplant patients now receive cord blood that was generously donated to a public cord blood bank. Donating cord blood to a public bank in the United States is free and your baby’s cord blood will be listed on Be The Match Registry®, where it’s available for anyone in need of a transplant.
If you are interested in donating your cord blood, Cord For Life® can help walk you through the process. We have been in the business of collecting, processing, and storing donated cord blood for public use since 1995. Since we also offer private cord blood banking, you have the choice of either option right up until baby is born.
There is no cost to the donor for public cord blood banking. Cord For Life® and all other public cord blood banks cover the costs of collecting, processing and storing cord blood units. The only charges related to public cord blood banking are incurred by the patient when the stem cells are withdrawn for use.
For cord blood stem cells banked privately, there are costs for collection, processing and annual storage, but the stem cells are reserved for the family’s exclusive use. We offer both public and private cord blood banking options at Cord For Life® and are happy to discuss both with you to help you decide what works best for you and your family.
Donating your child’s cord blood is simple. First you have to meet the eligibility requirements mandated by the government for cord blood donations– these are available on our website. Once you’ve met the government eligibility requirements, you can contact Cord For Life® to request a collection kit. No blood is taken from your baby. It’s only taken from the umbilical cord itself after your baby is born.
Your labor and delivery will not be affected. And when you donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank there are no collection or storage costs. One thing to consider when choosing a cord blood bank is that Cord For Life® offers both public and private cord blood banking options. This means you can wait to decide which is best for you right up until you delivery baby!
Cord For Life® has a strict company policy on all the research we are involved in. In cases where a unit is not eligible for an unrelated transplant or otherwise would be discarded, it may still be suitable for research purposes in pursuit of finding more uses of stem cells for health recovery.
We do not permit involvement in any research that is deemed controversial including cloning, embryonic, or non-health related research. Our purpose is to advance the field in areas focused on health recovery.
Not at this time. Regulations required that all signed documents be originals. We hope to be able to accept forms in electronic format in the near future.
Public donations are regulated by the FDA and AABB to ensure the quality and safety of every product. The health history information is part of this quality system and is designed to prevent collections that could cause harm to the mother, the child and/or the recipient.
In addition, The National Marrow Donor Program® registry is performing a clinical study on cord blood donation and transplantation, it is important that all participants are clearly informed prior to the collection of the study and how the collected data may be utilized.
The additional consents used for both private and public collections are to ensure the mother and her physician/midwife have a thorough understanding of the cord blood collection and testing process.
There is no cost for a publicly donated cord blood collection. Fees do apply for private storage collections.
Public donation collections must be processed and cryopreserved within 48 hours of the time of collection. Unfortunately, current commercial courier services are limited on weekends which prevent us from receiving the unit in the mandatory time-frame.
As a result, publicly donated units cannot be accepted after 3PM (EST) on Friday through 3PM (EST) on Sunday. Private storage units have no restrictions, and will be accepted 7-days a week.
Cord For Life® is one of a very small number of cord blood banks that will accept collections from anywhere within the United States.
There are no physical risks to you or the baby during the collection of newborn cord blood. It is collected from the umbilical cord after delivery when the cord has been clamped and cut.
The success of a stem cell transplant depends on finding a cord blood unit with a similar human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type. Unlike the better known red cell blood typing (O-A-B-AB), doctors use HLA proteins — or markers — found on most cells in your body to determine a stem cell match. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not. Only identical twins will have identical stem cell type.
Because HLA types are based on your genetic code, persons of minority or mixed race need a donor with a similar ethnic background. Unfortunately, because of a lack of donors, minorities often have a very difficult time finding a suitable unit in a public bank and often a matching unit cannot be found.
A cord blood unit is the term used for the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. Cord blood is rich in blood-forming cells known as “Stem Cells” that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases.
Cord blood is one of three sources of cells used in transplant; the other two are bone marrow and peripheral (circulating) blood (also called peripheral blood stem cell or PBSC transplants).
No, umbilical cord blood cells are not the same as embryonic stem cells. Cord blood stem cells are collected from the baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after the baby is born – not from an embryo.
The use of cord blood stem cells for transplant is a routine medical procedure. The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 using sibling cord cells for the treatment of Fanconi Anemia.
Private storage cord blood stem cell units are collected, processed, cryopreserved and stored for use by the child (autologous) or a designated recipient (family member or other loved one). These units are the property of the mother and child and cannot be used for an unrelated transplant.
Privately storing your baby’s stem cells should be a consideration in families with a history of hereditary diseases which can be treated with stem cells or if your child is a minority or mixed race. Because these units are not for public use, fees do apply. Click here for fee options.
Public donation cord blood stem cell units are collected, processed, cryopreserved, stored and listed on transplant registries which coordinate transplants for patients in need. These units are available to anyone looking for a stem cell “match” unit for transplant.
Reserve your Cord Blood Collection Kit in time to bring it with you when you go into labor. Give your newborn every advantage with cord blood banking!
By donating your newborn’s cord blood, you are joining a nationwide effort to create a genetically diverse inventory of stem cells for transplant to a child.
Mr. Kondorosi has been involved with the hospitality and hotel industry for most of his life. From 1969 through 1985, he held various positions at the international InterContinental Hotels chain, including various senior management roles. After his transitioning to the USA, he moved into the real estate business and held a variety of positions. Recently he has held te position of Director of Sales for Prestige Homes, Inc. part of Goldrich and Kest Industries headquartered in California since 1957. Mr. Kondorosi represented the successful sale of 386 homes in the Bel Air Crest Development, including re-sales over the past several years, various high end listings and sales in prominent locations such as Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and other parts of the west-side Los Angeles area.
Mr. Kondorosi is also the founder and President of EDKO Trade, Inc., and international real estate and trading company involved in promoting and closing transactions between various companies and individuals located around the world. Since 2000, he has also been involved in various international and foreign innovative startup companies in various capacities including CEO, board member or in a consulting role. Mr. Kondorosi received a Juri Doctor degree from Janus Pannonius University in Hungary in international law. He also was a professor at the Budapest Business School / Faculty of Commerce, Catering and Tourism in Hungary.
In addition, Mr Kondorosi has served on the Board for the Regency Club from 2008 through 2011, a private business organization started by David Murdock 30 years ago in Los Angeles.
Ms. Sardone has over 30 years of clinical laboratory experience as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist, including over 25 years with Central Florida Regional Hospital (CFRH). She was Supervisor of Quality Assurance, Safety and Education at CFRH for 11 years, held the positions of Blood Bank Supervisor for 11 years, and Hematology Supervisor for 1 year. She has participated in both sides of the inspection process, serving on the College of American Pathologists Inspection team for CAP Hospital Accreditation in Florida, and assisting in receiving accreditation by The Joint Commission (TJC), American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the inspections of the clinical laboratory.
Ms. Sardone is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology and Clinical Chemistry. She is a certified Clinical Laboratory Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).
Ms. Sardone serves as Manager of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Cord For Life®, Inc. overseeing all licensing and regulatory agencies to ensure that the highest quality in all aspects of cord blood collection, processing, and storage is maintained.
Ms. Sardone’s skills and knowledge in blood banking and quality assurance have enabled her to establish, implement and maintain a superior quality system that meets and exceeds all standards and regulatory requirements for Cord For Life®, Inc.
Mr. Hudspeth has over 17 years of clinical laboratory experience as a certified Medical Technologist (ASCP), including ten years with the University of North Carolina Hospitals. Mr. Hudspeth is licensed by the State of Florida as a Clinical Laboratory Supervisor in Immunohematology, Hematology, Serology, Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Pathology and Microbiology as well as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, is a registered Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and a member of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).
He has also enjoyed teaching Immunology to Clinical Laboratory Science and medical school students at UNC while working in the UNCH clinical labs. At Cord For Life®, Mr. Hudspeth serves as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all operations and the daily laboratory operations to ensure that the highest quality in all aspects of donor selection and cord blood collection, processing, and storage is maintained. He also works with Quality Assurance to ensure full compliance by Cord For Life® to all applicable regulations. Mr. Hudspeth has sat on numerous cord blood focused committees and advisory groups.
Additionally, Mr. Hudspeth served as the Clinical Investigator for Cord For Life® as they evaluated and approved a new processing methodology to isolate stem cells from cord blood while depleting the unwanted red cells. Mr. Hudspeth works with groups, individuals, or government agencies to bring cord blood banking to countries around the world. He is responsible for training medical professionals worldwide in cord blood processing at our Florida location. In addition, he travels overseas to assist in the initial setup and implementation of the new facilities to ensure their compliance and quality. Mr. Hudspeth has assisted in opening new cord blood facilities in Europe and in SE Asia.
Don joined Sanofi Pasteur VaxDesign in 2005 and has served as Director of Immunological Research since 2009. He has had a long-standing interest in the immune system, particularly the interaction between viruses and elements of the adaptive immune system, since initiating his graduate studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, he was awarded funding from the Cancer Research Institute and received an Interdisciplinary Training Grant in Immunology from the National Institutes of Health to study CD8+ T cell immunity against influenza virus.
At VaxDesign, Don leads a team developing and optimizing the MIMIC® System to permit the evaluation of human adaptive immunity (cellular and humoral responses) against vaccine candidates, biologics, and other immunomodulators in a pre-clinical setting. He is an author on a variety of patents and peer-reviewed journal publications.
Mrs. Cable brings over 20 years of experience to Cord For Life® directing the Client Services, Account Management and Personnel departments. She began working in the cord blood industry in December of 2006. In addition, Ms. Cable is actively involved in marketing for the company.
Dr. Richard R. Gammon joined Florida’s Blood Centers (FBC) in 2005 and is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s medical practices, policies and testing remain at the forefront of the blood-banking industry. He received his undergraduate degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and medical degree from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia.
He completed his residency at The Ohio State University and his fellowship at the University of Virginia. He also serves as an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. He has served as President and Technical Committee Chair of the Florida Association of Blood Banks. He currently serves as the Chair of the Scientific Medical and Technical Committee and Chair of the Journal Club for America’s Blood Centers.
He is an assessor and abstract reviewer for AABB and is a manuscript reviewer for the journal Transfusion. He is the co-recipient of a 2011 ABC Foundation Grant for the Get Healthy Wellness Program. Dr. Gammon’s research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals and he has been a featured speaker at numerous national and international conferences on blood banking and transfusion medicine.
Dr. Pollock was originally from Ohio where he majored in pharmacy at Ohio Northern University. After graduation he worked as a pharmacist and attended The Ohio State University where he majored in chemistry and graduated in biochemistry.
In 1992 he attended Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton Ohio, after graduating from medical school he completed his residency at Orlando Regional Medical Center in anatomic and clinical pathology, then a two year fellowship in clinical molecular genetics at All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg Florida. After completing his fellowship in genetics, he became Medical Director for Central Florida Blood Bank for 3 years where he took great interest in the stem cell donation program.
After leaving the blood bank, Dr Pollock became Assistant Director in Molecular Genetics for the Centers of Advanced Diagnostics which at the time was a division of Ameripath. After the restructuring of the Orlando operation, Dr Pollock found himself back in blood banking. He was medical director for BloodNetUSA in Lakeland, Florida prior to its merger with Florida Blood Services.
During the last two years of Medical School, Dr. Irrgang was in the United States Navy 1915 Ensign Program and completed a clerkship at the Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina as well as a research clerkship at the Naval Aerospace Institute at Pensacola, Florida.
Dr. Irrgang completed her four year Pathology residency at Baylor University Medical Center, and her internship at the University District Hospital, Rio Piedras in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Currently, Dr. Irrgang is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and licensed in the states of South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey and Florida and she is an Associate Medical Examiner at the District Nine Medical Examiners Office.
Dr. Irrgang is a fellow at numerous organizations including; The College of American Pathologists, National Association of Medical Examiners, Florida Association of Medical Examiners, Seminole County Medical Society, and the Florida Medical Society.