How Long Does Cord Blood Last: Facts, Preservation, and Uses

Cord blood banking has emerged as a popular method to secure the health and well-being of your newborn baby. Its efficiency and potential benefits make it an attractive option for parents who want to safeguard their child’s future against any medical uncertainties. However, many questions arise regarding the longevity of cord blood storage. How long does cord blood last? Is it really worth investing in? Does it expire? These are the most prominent questions that are raised by concerned parents, and answering them is pivotal to make an informed decision about cord blood banking.

Cord blood banking is a relatively new concept, and many people are unaware of its functioning and benefits. Cord blood banking is the process of collecting blood from the umbilical cord at the time of birth and storing it in a specialized facility for future use. It is a rich source of stem cells, which have the potential to cure fatal diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia. However, parents’ concern is about the long-term duration of its storage. They are earnestly seeking an answer to the question: how long does cord blood last? The answer to this question is crucial in deciding whether cord blood banking is a viable option or not.

Cord blood banking offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for parents to secure their child’s health. The demand for cord blood banking is increasing with time, indicating its effectiveness and success rate. However, parents are unsure if the cord blood will last long enough to serve its purpose during medical emergencies. To address this, we have researched and evaluated the storage duration of cord blood. This article will provide comprehensive data and expert opinions to answer the million-dollar question: how long does cord blood last?

Storage requirements for cord blood

Cord blood banking has become a popular method of preserving stem cells for future medical use. Stored cord blood can be used to treat certain diseases and disorders, and it can be a lifesaving treatment for patients in need.

However, in order for cord blood to remain usable over time, it must be stored under specific conditions. The following are some of the storage requirements for cord blood:

  • Cord blood must be collected and processed within 15 minutes of birth
  • It must be transported to the storage facility as soon as possible after processing
  • At the storage facility, cord blood must be stored at a temperature of -196°C in liquid nitrogen
  • The storage tanks used must be securely sealed and regularly monitored to ensure the temperature remains constant
  • Cord blood must be stored in a quarantine area to prevent cross-contamination

It is important to note that these storage requirements may vary slightly among different cord blood banks. It is always recommended to thoroughly research and choose a reputable cord blood bank that meets all necessary standards and regulations.

Uses of cord blood in medical treatments

Cord blood has become a valuable source for treating various medical conditions, especially those related to the blood and immune system. Here are some of the common uses of cord blood in medical treatments:

  • Stem cell transplantation: Cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat patients with illnesses that affect their bone marrow, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease. The stem cells in cord blood can regenerate new blood cells and restore the patient’s immune system.
  • Tissue regeneration: Researchers are exploring the use of cord blood stem cells in tissue engineering, regenerating tissues and organs damaged by injury or disease. Cord blood stem cells have the potential to become bone, cartilage, cardiac cells, and even nerve cells.
  • Gene therapy: Cord blood stem cells can be used in gene therapies to replace damaged or dysfunctional cells with healthy ones, effectively curing genetic diseases such as hemophilia and thalassemia.

Cord blood is a valuable resource not only for treating medical conditions but also for advancing research in regenerative medicine. It is a non-invasive and painless procedure to collect cord blood at birth, and it can be stored for a long time for future use.

However, the lifespan of cord blood does have its limitations. The viability of cord blood diminishes over time, and it may not be effective for treatments after a certain period. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cord blood banking may be useful for at least 10 years, depending on the method of storage. Therefore, it is crucial to store cord blood in a reputable and accredited facility to ensure its viability and quality for future use.

Method of Storage Estimated Viability
Public cord blood bank For research or transplantation often within five years
Family cord blood bank For future use by the family, typically up to 25 years
Cryopreserved cord blood Up to 10 years

In summary, cord blood has proven to be a valuable and versatile source for treating various medical conditions and advancing research in regenerative medicine. However, its efficacy is limited by its viability, and proper storage is necessary to ensure its quality for future use.

Collection process for cord blood

Cord blood is collected at a time of birth through a quick and easy process. The collection process is simple, safe, and does not cause any harm to the mother or her newborn. Here is a step-by-step guide that explains how the collection process for cord blood works.

  • Step 1: Consent Form – Before collection, parents must read, understand, and sign a consent form.
  • Step 2: Collection Kit – The cord blood collection kit is provided by the cord blood bank or the hospital.
  • Step 3: Collection – After the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the doctor or nurse collects the cord blood from the umbilical cord and placenta using a sterile needle and a special collection bag. This is done in a controlled environment and takes just a few minutes.

Once collected, the cord blood is transported to the cord blood bank, where it undergoes a series of tests and is stored in a cryopreservation unit until needed.

The collection process for cord blood is safe, sterile, and does not cause any harm to the mother or baby. It is a painless procedure that takes only a few minutes to complete.

By storing your baby’s cord blood, you are providing a valuable resource that may potentially save their life or the life of a family member in the future.

Overall, the collection process for cord blood is simple and straightforward. It has the potential to save lives and has been proven to be a valuable resource for medical treatments.

Benefits of Cord Blood Collection Drawbacks of Cord Blood Collection
Can be used to treat over 80 medical conditions High cost
No risk to mother or baby during collection Low likelihood of use
Potentially life-saving for the baby and family members No guarantee of successful transplantation
Minimal ethical concerns Limited storage time (up to 25 years)

Overall, the benefits of cord blood collection far outweigh the drawbacks. It is a safe and potentially life-saving procedure that every expectant parent should consider.

Comparison of public and private cord blood banks

Parents who bank their baby’s cord blood have the choice to store it in a public or private cord blood bank. Understanding the differences between these options is important to make an informed decision about which is best for your family. Here, we will discuss the differences between public and private cord blood banks, specifically regarding how long your baby’s cord blood will last.

  • Public Cord Blood Banks
  • Public cord blood banks collect and store donated cord blood for anyone who may need it. Donating cord blood to a public bank is free and the donated cord blood can be used for transplants for anyone who matches. However, this also means that the donated cord blood may be used up quicker, and therefore, may not be available for your own family if needed later on. Despite this risk of not being able to access your child’s preserved cord blood, there are no storage fees associated with public cord blood banks.

  • Private Cord Blood Banks
  • Private cord blood banks, on the other hand, allow parents to store their child’s cord blood exclusively for their own family’s use. This means the cord blood will be stored for your child’s entire lifetime, and can be accessed in the future if needed. This guarantees that your child’s cord blood will be available for their own potential use or even for use by a close family member. However, private cord blood banks typically charge a storage fee, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the storage duration.

Regarding how long cord blood lasts, both public and private cord blood banks claim that properly stored cord blood can be used effectively for up to 20 years. However, recent studies have shown that cord blood may actually be usable for much longer than previously thought. One study found that cord blood stem cells stored for 23.5 years were still viable and able to be used for transplantation purposes. While this news is encouraging, it’s important to note that just because the stem cells are still viable, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be effective in treating certain conditions.

Cord Blood Bank Type Longest Confirmed Usable Duration
Public Cord Blood Banks 20 years
Private Cord Blood Banks 23.5 years

In conclusion, whether you choose to store your child’s cord blood in a public or private bank, you can feel confident that it will be viable for at least 20 years. However, if you are considering using a private cord blood bank, it’s important to factor in the cost of storage over the lifetime of the storage duration.

Cost of Cord Blood Storage

One of the main concerns that parents have regarding cord blood banking is the cost associated with it. Cord blood banking is not cheap, and many parents struggle to justify the cost. However, when you consider the benefits that come with having access to your baby’s cord blood in case of a medical emergency, the cost may be worth it for many families.

  • The cost of cord blood collection and processing can range from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Annual storage fees can range from $100 to $300.
  • Some cord blood banks offer discounted rates for multiple births or if you prepay for a certain number of years of storage.

When choosing a cord blood bank, it is important to consider the total cost over the course of several years, as well as any additional fees for shipping or processing the cord blood if it is ever needed. Some banks also charge a fee if you decide to withdraw your cord blood for personal use.

It is also important to note that private cord blood banking is not typically covered by insurance. However, some public cord blood banks may offer free donation services.

Cord Blood Storage Costs Low End High End
Collection and Processing $1,000 $3,000
Annual Storage Fees $100 $300

Overall, the cost of cord blood storage can vary depending on the bank you choose and the length of time you want to store your baby’s cord blood. However, with the potential life-saving benefits of having access to your baby’s cord blood, many parents find the cost to be worth it in the long run.

Methods for Thawing Frozen Cord Blood

Thawing frozen cord blood is the process of slowly warming the cord blood unit from its frozen state to room temperature to make it suitable for transplantation. The thawing process is a crucial step in cord blood banking that can impact the viability and potency of the stem cells. There are two primary methods for thawing frozen cord blood units, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Water Bath Method: This method involves placing the frozen cord blood unit into a water bath at a specific temperature for a set amount of time. The temperature and duration of thawing are crucial to avoid damaging the stem cells. The advantages of this method are that it is simple, inexpensive, and effective. However, it can be time-consuming, and if done improperly, it may lead to inconsistent results and cell loss.
  • Dry Thaw Method: This method involves thawing the cord blood unit using a dry heat source, such as an incubator or dry thaw box. The frozen cord blood is placed in a sealed bag and exposed to dry heat at a controlled temperature for a specific duration. The advantages of this method are that it is faster, more consistent, and results in fewer cell losses. However, this method is more expensive and requires specialized equipment.

Cord blood banks often use a combination of these methods to ensure the highest viability and potency of the stem cells during the thawing process. It is crucial to follow the specific thawing protocol recommended by the cord blood bank to maximize stem cell survival.

Additionally, once the cord blood unit is thawed, it must be used within a set amount of time to maintain its viability. The length of time cord blood lasts after thawing depends on various factors, such as the storage method, cell count, and the velocity of the thawing process. According to AABB (Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapy Worldwide), cord blood units can be stored for up to 15 years, but it is recommended to use them as soon as possible after thawing.

Overall, the thawing method is a critical step in cord Blood banking, and choosing the right method will impact the success of the transplantation.

Success rates of cord blood transplants

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to bank your child’s cord blood is the success rates of cord blood transplants. Here are some key facts:

  • Cord blood transplants have a success rate of approximately 90% for treating certain blood-related diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and immune system disorders.
  • The success rates of cord blood transplants vary depending on the patient’s age, disease, and the number of cells in the cord blood sample.
  • The success rates of cord blood transplants are similar to those of bone marrow transplants, with the added benefit of cord blood being easier to obtain and less likely to cause rejection in the recipient.

It’s important to note that while cord blood transplants have a high success rate, they are not guaranteed to work in every case. Patients may require multiple transplants or additional treatments, and there may be complications or side effects associated with the transplant process.

If you do decide to bank your child’s cord blood, it’s important to choose a reputable cord blood bank with a proven track record of successful transplants. You can research different cord blood banks online and speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best option for your family.

Cord blood transplant success rates by disease

Disease Success rate with cord blood transplant Other treatment options
Leukemia 70-90% Chemotherapy, radiation therapy
Lymphoma 70-90% Chemotherapy, radiation therapy
Immune system disorders 80-100% Immunosuppressive drugs, other therapies

As you can see from the table above, cord blood transplants have a high success rate for treating certain diseases. However, it’s important to note that these success rates may vary depending on the individual patient’s circumstances.

Ethical considerations for cord blood banking

When deciding whether to bank cord blood, there are several ethical considerations that parents should take into account. Here are eight key factors to consider:

  • Ownership: Who owns the cord blood once it is stored? Some banks may claim ownership of the cord blood and may be able to use it for research or clinical purposes. Make sure you understand the terms of the contract before signing up with a cord blood bank.
  • Privacy: How will the cord blood bank protect your privacy and that of your child? What measures are taken to ensure that your personal and medical information are kept confidential?
  • Costs: Cord blood banking can be expensive, with initial fees ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. In addition, there may be ongoing storage fees that can add up over time. Consider whether the benefits of having access to cord blood in the future outweigh the costs.
  • Medical need: While cord blood stem cells can potentially be used to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions, the likelihood of actually needing to use them is relatively low. Consider whether storing cord blood is worth it for your specific situation.
  • Altruism: Some parents choose to donate their child’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank, where it can be used to help others in need. This can be a way to give back to the community and help those who may not have access to other sources of stem cells.
  • Disposal: If you choose not to bank your child’s cord blood or if it is no longer needed, what are the options for disposal? Make sure you understand the policies and procedures of the cord blood bank in this regard.
  • Moral considerations: Some people have ethical or religious objections to the use of embryonic stem cells, which are sometimes used in stem cell research. Cord blood stem cells do not raise the same moral concerns, but it is important to think through your own values and beliefs before making a decision about cord blood banking.
  • Fairness: Not everyone has access to cord blood banking, and it may be seen as a form of privilege. Consider whether banking cord blood aligns with your values and whether it is fair to others who may not have the same opportunities.


Ultimately, the decision whether to bank cord blood is a personal one that will depend on your individual circumstances and values. By considering the ethical considerations outlined here, however, you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your child.

Viability of Cord Blood for Long-Term Storage

Cord blood banking has become increasingly popular in recent years as more parents seek to secure their child’s future health. With the ability to potentially treat numerous diseases and conditions, cord blood is a valuable resource that must be handled carefully to ensure its long-term viability. Here, we will explore the viability of cord blood for long-term storage.

  • Cord blood is rich in stem cells and can be stored for many years.
  • The length of time for storage will depend on the banking facility and their protocols.
  • The FDA has established guidelines for cord blood banking, including the minimum storage period of five years.

It is essential to choose a facility that follows strict guidelines for cord blood banking and incorporates advanced processing and storage techniques to ensure the longevity of cord blood. With proper storage and handling, cord blood can maintain its viability for decades, making it a valuable asset for future treatments.

In some cases, cord blood may be used immediately after collection. For example, when cord blood is used for a transplant for a sibling or family member, the cord blood must be processed, tested, and stored immediately after collection.

The table below outlines the factors that affect the viability of cord blood for long-term storage:

Factor Description
Processing Techniques The method used to process and isolate the stem cells from cord blood impacts the longevity and effectiveness of cord blood.
Storage Environment The storage environment influences the viability of cord blood. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and air quality can affect the stem cells’ potency in cord blood.
Cryoprotectants The use of cryoprotectants, which are substances used to protect cells during the freezing process, can affect cord blood viability.

Overall, cord blood is a valuable resource that can provide life-saving treatments for numerous diseases and conditions. With proper processing, storage, and handling techniques, cord blood can maintain its viability for many years, making it a valuable investment in a child’s future health.

Alternative Sources of Stem Cells for Medical Treatments

Cord blood has proven to be an effective source of stem cells, but it is not the only source. Scientists are constantly researching and exploring alternative sources of stem cells for medical treatments. Here are 10 alternative sources of stem cells:

  • Bone marrow
  • Peripheral blood
  • Adipose tissue
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Placental tissue
  • Umbilical cord tissue
  • Dental pulp
  • Fat-derived stem cells

Each source of stem cells has its own benefits and limitations. Some sources, like bone marrow and peripheral blood, have been used for decades in medical treatments. Other sources, like embryonic stem cells, have been controversial due to ethical concerns.

Research on alternative sources of stem cells has shown promising results. For example, adipose tissue has been shown to contain a high number of stem cells, and studies have shown potential for using adipose-derived stem cells for treating a variety of conditions, including heart disease and osteoarthritis.

Another exciting area of research is the use of induced pluripotent stem cells, which are created by reprogramming adult cells to behave like embryonic stem cells. This enables scientists to create patient-specific stem cells that can be used to treat a variety of conditions.

Source Benefits Limitations
Bone marrow Well-established as a source of stem cells Invasive procedure
Peripheral blood Less invasive than bone marrow harvest May not yield enough stem cells for some treatments
Adipose tissue High number of stem cells Less well-understood than other sources

While cord blood remains a valuable source of stem cells, the research on alternative sources of stem cells provides a glimpse into the exciting potential of regenerative medicine.

How Long Does Cord Blood Last?

Q: What is cord blood and why is it important?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is born. It contains stem cells that can potentially treat various diseases and genetic disorders. Cord blood is important because it is a non-invasive and painless source of stem cells.

Q: How long can cord blood be stored?
Cord blood can be stored for at least 25 years, and some companies claim that it can be stored indefinitely. However, the longer the storage period, the more the cells may degrade.

Q: How is cord blood stored?
Cord blood is stored in special containers at very low temperatures in liquid nitrogen. This freezing process, known as cryopreservation, preserves the stem cells by stopping all biological activity.

Q: Does cord blood lose its potency over time?
Cord blood may lose some potency over time due to the degradation of stem cells or the effects of aging on the immune system. However, studies have shown that cord blood can remain potent for at least 10 years.

Q: Can cord blood be used for multiple treatments?
Cord blood can be used for multiple treatments if there are enough stem cells available and if the quality of the cells is good. However, each treatment uses a specific number of stem cells, so it’s best to consult with a doctor or specialist to determine the feasibility of using cord blood for multiple treatments.

Q: What happens if cord blood storage company goes out of business?
Most cord blood banks have contingency plans in place to ensure the ongoing storage and management of their clients’ cord blood, even in the event of a bank closure or acquisition. It’s important to do research and choose a cord blood bank with a reputable track record and sound financial backing.

Q: What can I do with stored cord blood that is no longer viable?
There are ongoing clinical trials exploring the use of degraded cord blood cells in regenerative medicine. Additionally, some cord blood banks offer a buy-back program for cord blood that is no longer viable or needed.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has answered your questions about how long cord blood lasts and how it can be stored and used. Remember to do your research and consult with a medical professional before deciding on cord blood banking. Thanks for reading and please visit us again for more informative articles!