OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network

Here’s some information to get you started:

What is cord blood?

The blood in the umbilical cord and placenta is rich with blood-forming stem cells that can help save the lives of patients with diseases and disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia. With your consent, your baby’s cord blood can be collected when you deliver your baby and stored in Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank — to be used by anyone who needs a stem cell transplant.

Where can I donate my cord?

Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank collects donated cord blood units from mothers across Canada at the following hospitals:

  • The Ottawa Hospital (General and Civic campuses)
  • The William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital
  • The Alberta Health Services’ Lois Hole Hospital for Women in Edmonton
  • The BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre in Vancouver

How do I donate?

  1. If you plan to give birth at any of the collection hospitals in Canada and would like to donate your baby’s cord blood, download and read the cord blood donation kit found in the cord blood section of our website.
  2. Give your completed consent form either to your health-care provider during one of your prenatal visits, or bring it with you on your delivery day and tell your nurse you wish to donate.

Cord blood is collected in one of two ways:

    Your hospital physician or licensed midwife collects the cord blood after your baby is delivered, before the placenta is delivered.
    Designated Canadian Blood Services personnel collect your cord blood after your baby and placenta have been delivered.

If your baby’s cord blood unit qualifies, a nurse may visit you to collect additional information before you leave the hospital, which includes a second consent, blood work and a questionnaire.

Donating cord blood for research

If your cord blood donation does not meet the volume requirement to be banked in Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank, it can still be put to important use in biomedical research — helping drive lifesaving medical discoveries. In Ottawa, you can indicate your interest in donating your baby’s cord blood for research on your consent form.