ACOG Committee Opinion No. 771: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Mar;133(3):e249-e253. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003128.


Since the first successful umbilical cord blood transplant in 1988, it has been estimated that more than 35,000 transplants have been performed in children and adults for the correction of inborn errors of metabolism, hematopoietic malignancies, and genetic disorders of the blood and immune system. Two types of banks have emerged for the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood: 1) public banks and 2) private banks. The benefits and limitations of public versus private umbilical cord blood banking should be reviewed with the patient because they serve different purposes. This patient discussion also should include the concept of autologous and allogeneic use of umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood collected from a neonate cannot be used to treat a genetic disease or malignancy in that same individual (autologous transplant) because stored cord blood contains the same genetic variant or premalignant cells that led to the condition being treated. There is no current evidence to support the use of an autologous umbilical cord blood sample in regenerative medicine. Patients should be made aware of the quality control and regulatory organizations that provide oversight for the process of umbilical cord collection and storage. Umbilical cord blood collection should not compromise obstetric or neonatal care or alter routine practice of delayed umbilical cord clamping with the rare exception of medical indications for directed donation. Therefore, it is important to inform patients that the medical condition of the woman or neonate may prevent adequate umbilical cord blood collection. This document is updated with a statement that the routine use of private cord blood banking is not supported by available evidence and that public banking is the recommended method of obtaining cord blood. In addition, the importance of contribution from all ethnicities and races to public banks is highlighted.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Blood Banks / classification
  • Blood Banks / standards*
  • Fetal Blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn