We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant?

By M. DePietro
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An umbilical cord blood transplant is a procedure used to treat various forms of blood disease, such as leukemia, certain types of anemia, and other forms of cancer. The umbilical cord contains stem cells, which can develop into healthy blood cells. Cord blood for an umbilical cord blood transplant can be used from the patient’s own umbilical cord, if it was banked, or from a donor’s cord blood.

Some parents bank their babies' cord blood after birth. Once a baby is born, the cord blood is taken from the umbilical cord. The blood is frozen and stored at a blood bank for future use. If the need arises in the future, it can be used for an umbilical cord blood transplant for the baby, it can be donated to a relative, or it can be donated to someone else. If the cord blood is donated, a cord blood match can be located through the match registry run by the National Marrow Donor Program.

The process needed to prepare for an umbilical cord transplant may vary depending on the disease being treated, however, most patients will need chemotherapy before the cord blood transplant. The medications given will destroy diseased cells. The drugs given also suppress the patient‘s immune system. This prevents the patient’s body from trying to attack the donated cord blood cells.

Before an umbilical cord blood transplant, a central line will be inserted into a vein, usually in the patient’s chest. The cord blood cells are transplanted from blood bags into the patient through the central line. This process is similar to a blood transfusion.

Some risks and complications are possible with a cord blood transplant. The chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, which can lead to serious infections. The cord blood can also be rejected, which can lead to a condition called graft-versus-host disease.

Even with the risks involved, cord blood transplants have some advantages over other types of bone marrow transplants. Although graft-versus-host disease is a possibility, it does tend to occur less with cord blood transplants. Another advantage of a cord blood transplant is the cord blood may be quickly available, while finding a match through an adult peripheral blood donor can be time consuming.

After an umbilical cord blood transplant, patients will need to take special precautions to avoid infection. A low-bacteria diet may need to be followed. Teeth will need to be cleaned thoroughly and gently to remove bacteria from the mouth. Once the donor cells engraft and start producing healthy white blood cells, the immune system will slowly become stronger.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.