Public Cord Blood Donation

Public cord blood banks collect, process and store donated cord blood units for unrelated (allogeneic) haematopoietic stem cell transplants. This is the standard treatment for haematological malignancies (such as leukaemia) and non-malignant disorders (immune deficiencies, haemoglobinopathies and metabolic disorders).1 These donated units are listed on international donor databases like BMDW (Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide), accessible by Transplant Centres worldwide.

Public cord blood banking remains SCBB’s priority and key focus. Donating cord blood to a public cord blood bank, such as the SCBB, increases the probability of finding a stem cell match for the patient, offering hope and a chance of a cure. Public cord blood banking is strongly encouraged by the American Medical Association, American Association of Paediatrics, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK) and World Marrow Donor Association, and fully supported by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.2

There is no charge to donors for the collection and banking of cord blood in the public cord blood bank. SCBB raises the funds required for the processing and cryopreservation of these donated cord blood units. These units will, however, be publicly available and no longer the property of the parents or the child.

1 Guilcher GMT, Fernandez CV, Joffe S. Are hybrid umbilical cord blood banks really the best of both worlds? J Med Ethnics 2015; 41:272-275

2 Corsano B, Sacchini D, Sulekova M, Minacori R, Refolo P, Spagnolo AG. Allogeneic verses Autologous: ethnical issues in umbilical cord blood use. European Journal of Bioethics 2015, 6(1):11 67-86