Picture of Éliane, cord blood transplantee

Frequently asked questions

Why donate cord blood?

Cord blood is rich in stem cells that are particularly valuable in the treatment of over 80 diseases, including leukemia and aplastic anemia. By agreeing to donate your cord blood, you are delivering hope to someone - and their family - who have been eagerly awaiting stem cell donation.

What are the risks associated with donation?

There are none. Neither for mother or child. Your baby’s well-being will always takes precedence over the cord blood donation. Once your baby has everything he needs, and is safely in your arms, your delivery doctor will carefully collect the cord blood, which would otherwise be discarded.

Does this affect my birth plan?

Absolutely not. And since the cord blood is taken by your delivery doctor, to the surprise of the vast majority of mothers they barely noticed the process, at all. Of course, we encourage mothers to inform their health care providers before delivery and to discuss this with their doctor.

Who takes the sample?

Your delivery doctor carefully collects the blood left in the umbilical cord.

How long does it take?

Cord blood donation usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Once your baby is in your arms, the time will pass quickly and have no effect on either mother or child.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, at any time. This decision is completely up to you.

Where does the donation go?

Once collected, the cord blood is sent and tested at Héma-Québec laboratories. If it meets all the standards, it is frozen and stored at the Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank, until it is needed by a stem cell transplant candidate. Cord blood has a lifespan of at least 15 years when frozen.

Cord blood donations that do not meet the Bank's criteria are kept for research purposes, with the mother’s consent.

Are they any risks to the child or mother?

Cord blood donation is safe for both mother and child and does not cause any side effects. In addition, your baby will always be treated as a priority.

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