Cord Blood Collection Instructions

A High Volume Cord Blood Collection is Essential

When your patient enrolls with StemCyte, we send you detailed instructions on how to perform a successful cord blood collection. A detailed guide will be on the the inside of the collection kit/shipping box with instructions and tips to ensure an optimal collection. Our friendly staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle emergencies and answer any questions about collections. Our instructions and tips for cord blood collection may also be viewed below. Please call us at 1-866-389-4659 if you would like to speak to one of our cord blood collection nurses or cord blood education specialists.

Keys to Successful High Volume Collection:

  • Be patient
  • Clamp the cord close to the baby
  • Reinsert the needle into another clean area of the umbilical cord vein for higher volume if necessary
  • Target: 100mL (However, a larger unit is more desirable for transplantation)
  • Minimum: 75mL (We strongly encourage patience and reinsertion of needle if possible for optimal collection)

Collect as much cord blood as possible

  • More blood = more stem cells
  • Quicker engraftment = greater chance of survival
  • Cell dose is a CRITICAL factor

Collection Kit Contents

  • Sterile Cord blood collection bag inside sealed foil pouch (DO NOT OPEN until right before collection)
  • Large YELLOW BAG LABEL for collection bag (it is adhered to the delivery and collection form) place it on the collection bag
  • Alcohol swab sticks (1 pack)
  • Biohazard Bag with Zip lock (1 for collection bag, 1 for maternal draw tubes)
  • Collection and Delivery form
  • Plastic hemostat (1) for blood bag tubing
  • Cord Clamp
  • Sterile C-Section Adapter Kit
  • Needle Cover for tubing
  • Temperature Stabilizing Gel Pack (No need for activation, do not refrigerate or freeze, room tempurature is the goal)
  • Maternal Draw Pack (3 purple tubes, 1 red tube)

Note: The collection process should not interfere with normal birthing procedures. For multiple births, deliver all infants before beginning collections. Get special instructions from StemCyte concerning multiple births.

Note: If patient wishes, the cord my be clamped after it stops pulsating

In-Utero Collections: Collection after umbilical cord has been clamped, cut and baby is removed. An in-utero collection may be performed for C-Section deliveries by using the sterile C-Section Adaptor kit.

Ex-Utero Collections: Collection after the placenta has been delivered and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. As soon as possible after delivery, place the placenta with the cord clamped at the bottom in a tray with the umbilical cord hanging freely over the edge.

Collection Procedure:

*Note: We encourage maternal draws to be done towards the end of labor. In the event of a C-section, the maternal draw may be done prior to delivery.

1 Verify identity of birth mother (and placenta if collection is post placental delivery)

2 Complete information on YELLOW LABEL and peel from collection and delivery form. Place over white label on the collection bag,
being careful not to cover the barcode, lot code or PL when adhering yellow label to bag.
3 Step 3

Place a plastic hemostat on the blood bag tubing just below the needle and attach needle protector with arrow pointing toward needle.
Cleansing the Cord

4 Step 4a Clean the exposed cord length twice with gauze soaked with povidone iodine (betadine,
if available).
· Step 4b

Clean the cord with alcohol swabs.
Do not touch the puncture site after cleansing.
Remove and replace outer gloves.
Collecting the Cord Blood

5 Step 5

Identify umbilical vein. Insert needle bevel down into the umbilical vein just above the cord clamp. Note start time of collection on YELLOW LABEL.
6 Step 6

Remove hemostat from tubing. Blood should start flowing. Allow blood to drain by gravity into bag. NOTE: Try to fill bag as close to half way as possible to achieve 100mL goal. It is important to gently agitate bag to prevent clotting of the blood. For ex utero collections, periodically move or rotate placenta for better collection. Do not milk umbilical cord.
7 Place bag lower than cord and collect as much blood as possible (target is > 100 ml). It is important to gently shake the bag during collection to prevent clotting of the blood.

8 Place hemostat on blood tubing before taking needle out of cord vein to prevent contamination.

9 Step 9

To potentially increase the collection volume, you may reinsert the needle into the cord several times as long as the new spot is cleaned properly. Clamp above the first puncture with a new cord clamp and reinsert needle in a spot above the clamp. Repeat steps 3-6 until sufficient blood is collected.
10 Step 10

When blood flow completely stops and cord appears white (blanched), place hemostat on blood tubing, remove needle from cord, pull needle guard over needle for protection and cut needle off into sharps container.
11 Step 11

Tie tubing in 2 "white" knots immediately above and below the hemostat. Remove hemostat. Use fingers to squeeze tubing from the knot down to the bag, pushing the blood in the tubing into the bag so it can mix and not clot in the tubing.
Labeling and Packaging of the Collection Bag

12 Step 12

1. Complete all items on the YELLOW bag label and make sure it is affixed onto the bag:
  • verify that barcode label is intact 
  • place initials, estimated volume, date and time (for approximate volume, gross estimation is ok) 
  • record mother's name or place mother's addressograph label on the back of the bag.
13 2. Put a maternal addressograph label on the Collection and Delivery form and complete and sign the form.

14 Step 14 3. Put blood bag into zip lock biohazard bag and put paperwork and bag into shipping box.

If the maternal blood sample has not been collected, get zip lock bag labeled Maternal Sample Collection kit and follow directions on the form in the pocket of the bag.


Deliver collection kit to family immediately and have them call 866-389-4659 for medical courier service pick up.


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