Backgrounder: Cord Blood

Key Facts

  • Blood stem cells are immature cells that produce the other cells found in our bloodstreams: red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. Blood stem cells can come from bone marrow, from the bloodstream itself, or from umbilical cord blood.
  • As a source of blood stem cells, cord blood can be collected in advance, reducing wait times. It also allows for more lenient matching thus increases the chance of finding a match for the patient.
  • Roughly 70 per cent of Canadians who need stem cell transplants cannot find a suitable donor from within their own families.