Are all banks the same for umbilical cord banking?

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    Who can donate umbilical cord blood

    The following are some general guidelines for cord blood donation, recommended by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP, a nonprofit organization that has a nationwide bone marrow and cord blood registry). These guidelines are intended to determine donor eligibility and to protect the health and welfare of the person receiving the cord blood. Contact the cord blood bank that you choose to use for specific eligibility requirements.

    Women must be at least 18 years old (16 years old in some states) and healthy. Healthy means that a person feels well and can perform normal activities.

    Those who cannot donate include:

    • Women who are at higher risk for or who have HIV/AIDS

    • Women who have a history of cancer (except cured local skin cancer or early-stage cervical cancer)

    • Women who have had malaria within the last three years or who have had a full course of antimalaria treatment within the past six months

    • Women who have a positive test for hepatitis C antibody or hepatitis B surface antigen

    • Women who have had an organ or tissue transplant

    • Women who have gotten tattoos or body piercing within the last year.

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    In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration regulates cord blood under the category of “Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue Based-Products.” The Code of Federal Regulations under which the FDA regulates public and private cord blood banks is Title 21 Section 1271. Several states also require accreditation, including New York, New Jersey, and California. Any company not accredited within those states are not legally permitted to collect cord blood from those states, even if the company is based out of state. Potential clients can check the New York accreditation status from the New York Umbilical Cord Blood Banks Licensed to Collect in New York. Both public and private cord blood banks are also eligible for voluntary accreditation with either the American Association of Blood Banks AABB or the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy FACT. Potential clients can check the current accreditation status of laboratories from the AABB list of accredited cord blood laboratories (note that several companies, such as Americord Registry, have AABB laboratories listed under different names) or the FACT search engine of accredited cord blood banks (on their home page). Other countries also have regulations pertaining to cord blood. In the United Kingdom, the Human Tissue Authority ( regulates the cord blood banking.

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