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Cord Blood Awareness

From Canadian Blood Services

The Ottawa Hospital (General Campus) is one of four hospitals in Canada where expectant birth parents can donate their cord blood to Canadian Blood Services. Cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. It is rich in lifesaving stem cells that can be used to treat more than 80 diseases and disorders, including blood cancers and anemia. Canadian Blood Services collects, tests, processes, stores and distributes eligible cord blood stem cells for use by patients in need in Canada and internationally.


Since we began collecting cord blood donations in 2013, our national public cord blood bank has amassed more than 4,300 donated cord blood units to support patients in need of lifesaving stem cell transplants. While cord blood stem cells may help patients of any age, over 40 per cent of donated cord blood units are used for transplants in children under four. A lot of expecting parents do not know about this easy and free opportunity to give life twice!


Here are some brief responses to frequently asked questions about donating cord blood:

Registration can be done online well in advance of the birth.

• Our cord blood specialists receive the placenta and umbilical cord from hospital staff

after the birth, so it does not interfere with the birth plan.

• No blood is taken from the baby.

• There is no risk to the delivering parent or baby with the collection process.

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