The Medical College of Wisconsin Cord Blood Bank is an extension of the MCW Tissue Bank, a secure storage facility where blood and tissue samples are kept for future research. The cord blood program differs from the main portion of the bank in that it only stores the blood from an umbilical cord for use in future research by Froedtert and MCW staff. A woman can choose to make a one-time donation with any birth.
What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and the umbilical cord after a baby is born. After the birth, the baby no longer needs this extra blood and it can be collected for future use.
Cord blood contains all normal elements of blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. All of these are produced by stem cells, also known as hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells. These stems cells have the ability to “fit in” with other cells, adapting to suit the needs of the body. Unlike other cells within the body, they are non-specific, and can ensure the reproduction and healthy growth of cells in all parts of the body, rather than just in a particular area of the body. Stem cells also have the unique ability to renew and replicate themselves and can join the cells of the kidney, liver, heart or any other tissue or organ of the body.