December 2, 2016 by Donald Hudspeth

December 2, 2016


Cord for Life® has been accepting umbilical cord blood collections for private storage and public donation for over 15 years. Until recently, Cord for Life® was the only cord blood center that collected from national non-fixed sites (NFS) and fixed sites (FS) facilities. With others in the industry expanding to NFS collections, we compared our FS collections using Cord for Life® trained MDs, midwives, and collection staff to our national NFS collections to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the two programs.


The comparison was performed on all collection data from the years 2009 – 2010 where current acceptance criteria were constant. Using data entered in the StemSoft database system, the analysis examined total units received vs. registry placement and privately stored vs. publicly donated collections.


From the total donated units received 26% of FS collections were processed and placed on a registry. For NFS the total donations processed and placed on the registry was only 10%. Privately stored collections were 12% higher from the NFS while FS had 18% higher publicly donated units. The primary cause for unit rejection was low pre-TNC count (<12×108) often directly related to product volume. Excluding the pre-count the following were the next highest reasons for rejection:


Fixed site collections allow for stronger management and control resulting in a more efficient and successful collection. There is a significant advantage in decreasing “preventable” errors and overall optimizing collections. There are many challenges to consider before implementing a non-fixed site collection program.

Although a greater number of units were received from the non-fixed locations, the overall product quality is lower. Another consideration is timing; kit shipment to the client prior to labor and unit receipt at the laboratory can impact the ability to meet the regulated timelines.

Using monthly tracking data as a CPI tool we discontinued acceptance of weekend collections as “normal” courier service is limited. This change resulted in fewer units received >48 hours from collection, saving collection materials and shipping costs. Other findings include lower efficiency and higher per banked unit cost in the NFS model.

Success of a non-fixed collection program will rely on improved distance training, increasing efficiency to improve value and there must be an outlet for non-transplantable units. Visit us at or call 800-869-8608 for more information.


Our purpose is to provide the expectant mothers with information necessary to discover the lifesaving potential of umbilical cord blood.

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