Cord Blood Donation Program
About the program
The mission of the Oregon Cord Blood Program is to increase community awareness about cord blood donation for public use. We have partnered with Bloodworks Northwest to facilitate the collection of umbilical cord blood units in Oregon.
What is cord blood and why is it important?
Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta after a baby is delivered and the umbilical cord is cut. Once considered medical waste, cord blood is often discarded along with the placenta following the birth of a baby. Cord blood is rich in stem cells, the parent cells of blood and immune cells. These stem cells have the ability to become mature cells and can be used to treat children and adults with some types of cancer and other diseases affecting the blood and immune systems. An umbilical cord blood transplant can save the life of a person suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Private versus public cord banking
Private banking is collecting and storing the cord blood for personal use. There are multiple private cord blood banks that store for a fee. This option is currently recommended for families with an affected member or history of diseases that can be treated with blood stem cell transplant.
Public banking is free of cost to the donor. Cord blood units stored in public blood banks such as Bloodworks Northwest have been used to treat thousands of patients worldwide since the 1990s. As the number of cord blood transplants increases there is a higher need to expand the number of available donors in public banks, and to study methods to improve the collection, storage and use of cord blood units.
How can I become a cord blood donor?
To find out if you could be a cord blood donor, please answer this short screening questionnaire. Information given here is confidential and cannot be linked directly to you.