MCW Maternal Research Placenta & Cord Blood Bank
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Umbilical cord blood is collected after giving birth. As standard procedure, a birthing specialist will clamp and cut the umbilical cord. Instead of discarding the cord and blood, a small area of the cord, adjacent to the clamp, is sanitized and a needle is inserted into the umbilical cord vein and either drawn out with a syringe or the blood is allowed to drain naturally into a blood collection bag. The blood will then be processed and stored cryogenically.
Since the MCW Tissue Bank supports numerous different researchers, we unfortunately cannot provide participants with information regarding specific studies their samples may help to support. However, rest assured that all research conducted at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin must be approved by our Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The IRB is a committee of doctors, researchers, and members of the community who are responsible for protecting the rights, welfare, and privacy of all individuals who participate in research sponsored by the Medical College of Wisconsin as well as Froedtert Hospital. The IRB reviews studies involving human subjects to ensure safety, compliance with laws and regulations, scientific quality, and ethical standards. Specimens donated to the MCW Tissue Bank cannot be used for research without the permission of the IRB.
Yes, we will collect a blood sample at your next routine clinical draw, regardless of the timeframe until your next blood draw is scheduled.
Consent to the MCW Maternal Research Placenta & Cord Blood Bank applies only to a single pregnancy. Any and all future pregnancies would require a separate consent for participation.
There is no limit on how long we may keep your samples in our Bank. However, if you choose to withdraw from the program, which you may do so at any time, any samples still banked will be removed and properly discarded.
There is no direct benefit to you other than the satisfaction of helping to advance knowledge. You will not be paid for your specimens nor receive any payment from patents or products that result from the research.