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Informed Consent for Cord Blood Donors

It is crucial that parents who elect to donate their child’s cord blood go through an informed consent process. Federal law requires that parents sign a consent form before cord blood is collected. The consent form should reveal the possible final uses of the cord blood. There are also medical requirements for donation.

In order to be a transplant donor, the mother must pass a blood test for the following infectious agents within 7 days of delivery:

* Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), type 1
* Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), type 2
* Hepatitus B virus
* Hepatitus C virus
* Human T-cell lymphotropic virus, type I
* Human T-cell lymphotropic virus, type II
* Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)
* CytoMegaloVirus (CMV) (unless previously documented positive)

In order to be suitable for transplant, the cord blood collection must pass a blood test for contamination (by bacteria or spores in the delivery room) and is then typed for:

* ABO group and Rh type
* HLA-A, -B, and -DR antigens
* Hemoglobin electrophoresis in ethnic groups at high risk for hemoglobinopathies

The above guidelines were published in 2003 by the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), based on a multi-organization collaboration, including:

* American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)
* America’s Blood Centers
* American Red Cross (ARC)
* American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
* International Society for Cellular Therapy
* Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
* National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)

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