Understanding the Importance of Cord Blood

Cord Blood Awareness Month

July is Cord Blood Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the potential life-saving benefits of cord blood. Cord blood, the blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth, contains hematopoietic stem cells, which have the unique ability to transform into various types of blood cells. These cells have proven to be invaluable in treating a wide array of diseases and conditions, making cord blood a critical resource in modern medicine.

What is Cord Blood?

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth. This blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, which can develop into different types of blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These stem cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune systems, and their versatility makes them extremely valuable for medical treatments.

Historical and Modern Uses of Cord Blood

The use of cord blood for medical purposes dates back to the late 20th century. Initially, it was used to treat blood-related diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma. However, over the years, the scope of cord blood applications has expanded significantly. According to Jha et al. (2021), cord blood is now used in treating over 80 different diseases, including various forms of cancer, genetic disorders, and immune deficiencies. The potential for cord blood to revolutionize treatments is immense, particularly in the fields of regenerative medicine and cellular therapy.

The Collection and Storage Process

Collecting cord blood is a simple and painless process. After the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the remaining blood in the cord is collected using a syringe. This blood is then sent to a cord blood bank, where it is tested for infectious diseases, typed for compatibility, and cryogenically frozen for long-term storage. The stored cord blood can be accessed later if the child or a compatible family member needs it for treatment.

Public vs. Private Cord Blood Banking

There are two main types of cord blood banking: public and private. Public cord blood banks collect donations that can be used by anyone who needs a stem cell transplant, while private banks store cord blood exclusively for use by the donor's family. Each type has its benefits. Public banking is often free and contributes to a larger pool of available stem cells, increasing the chances of finding a match for patients in need. Private banking, while typically involving a fee, ensures that the donor's family has immediate access to the stored cord blood if required.

Therapeutic Applications and Research

Research in the field of cord blood is ongoing, with scientists continuously discovering new therapeutic applications. Kanaan et al. (2021) highlighted that maternal cells in cord blood transplants might reduce relapse and mortality rates in leukemia patients. This finding underscores the potential of cord blood in improving patient outcomes and advancing medical treatments.

Moreover, Kögler (2020) emphasized the extensive use of cord blood in over 50,000 transplantations worldwide, showcasing its efficacy and safety. The unique biological properties of cord blood make it a promising resource for developing new treatments for various diseases and conditions.

Ensuring Quality and Safety

Ensuring the quality and safety of cord blood units is crucial for their effective use in medical treatments. Elwood (2018) discussed the stringent donor qualification process that cord blood banks implement to ensure high standards. This process includes rigorous screening and testing to ensure the collected cord blood is free from infections and other contaminants, making it safe for transplantation.


Cord blood holds incredible promise for the future of medicine. Its ability to treat a wide range of diseases and its potential in regenerative medicine make it a vital resource. Cord Blood Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the importance of educating parents about the benefits of cord blood banking and encouraging donations to public cord blood banks. By increasing awareness and understanding of cord blood, we can help ensure that more people have access to potentially life-saving treatments.

For more information on Core Blood visit the following websites:
Next Biosciences
Cord Blood Banking


  • Elwood, J. (2018). Cord Blood Donor Qualification. Medical Journal of Hematology, 35(2), 123-129.
  • Haley, T. (2020). Cord blood banking. Journal of Medical Research, 42(3), 256-261.
  • Jha, R., Kannan, S., & Agarwal, P. (2021). Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and its Therapeutic Uses: A Review. Journal of Stem Cell Research, 15(4), 345-359.
  • Kanaan, C., Lin, Y., & Hassan, R. (2021). Cord Blood Maternal Microchimerism Following Unrelated Cord Blood Transplantation. Leukemia Journal, 30(5), 789-797.
  • Kögler, G. (2020). Cord Blood Stem Cells. Regenerative Medicine Journal, 28(6), 401-409.
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