Hear What Mothers Have to Say

    Based on our patient survey (which began in March of 2011), mothers have given us the following feedback* on their experiences with donating their umbilical cord blood to Hawai'i Cord Blood Bank:    

Why did you decide to donate your cord blood to the public program at Hawai'i Cord Blood Bank?

"Donating cord blood is so simple and it ends up being discarded and wasted anyway. I figured since I am not going to privately store my baby's cord blood why not donate it and it could help save lives. It is safe, it's simple, and the thought of helping someone in need is worth it. A good value that I can instill in my son about helping others."

"To possibly help save the lives of others; I can't see discarding something valuable that could potentially be put to good use for someone else."

"My family volunteers our time with various organizations and I could think of no better way to introduce our son to our lifestyle of helping others."

"I felt more comfortable donating and after research found that cord blood that my child may need would most likely not be their own."

"I work in the medical field and have lost family members to cancer and thought it would be a beautiful opportunity to give back what was taken in my life."

"I was blessed with a beautiful/healthy baby and I figure I could help bless another."

"We are on the PSBC bone marrow registry and preferred to have our baby's cord blood potentially be used to save someone else's life. We are both of mixed ethnicity, and we would hope that the registry would be able to assist us or our family members if the need ever arose."

"I am also an organ donor and on the bone marrow registry. I am extremely grateful to enjoy good health and would consider it an honor to help someone less fortunate if I am able."

"Well why not? The umbilical cord is just thrown away, if blood is collected it could help someone with a life threatening disease. The labor and delivery are not affected. No blood is taken from the baby, only from the umbilical cord after the baby is born."

"Our son is 1/2 Korean and 1/2 European. We have heard that children from mixed backgrounds have a difficult time finding appropriate donors. If our son needed a match for cord blood we would be crushed if we couldn't find one." "To help someone in need and if I needed help I would hope someone would donate for me too."

"No second thoughts - Especially when it's simple, easy, and convenient to do. Happy to help someone else at any time!"

"I am on the bone marrow registry but don't weigh enough to donate blood so this is just another way to save a life."

"I would appreciate my own child being saved - it's the right thing to do."

Would you recommend Hawai'i Cord Blood Bank to others based on your experience? Why or why not?

"Yes, a chance to help others is a good reason! Process is simple and chance to turn 'rubbish' into something that would make a huge difference to someone."

"The purpose of the program is to help save lives. I believe that is worth trying."

"Yes! It's easy, simple, safe, and free!"

"Definitely! It's such a great program with no drawbacks, only positive outcomes. The program's employees were so great, informative, and friendly."

"Yes - why not?! If there's a chance to help others in need (w/o any expense to the giver), why not!?"

"Yes. It is free and otherwise the blood is discarded with the placenta and cord."

"Yes. No inconveniences except for a little extra paperwork but totally worth it if it could have helped someone else."

"Yes! It's AMAZING to think your baby's cord could save lives!"

"There are so many families out there that could be a match. It felt great to donate a possible gift of life."

"Yes, even though in my case the doctor and nurse couldn't retrieve enough blood. But because of my willingness to donate, it allowed for monetary funds to support this cause."

"Yes, I believe that HCBB is a savior to many people out there."

"Yes. We think that the purpose of HCBB is noble and life-saving."

"Why can't I submit the paperwork online?"

Unfortunately, at this time due to our current consenting process, we are unable to provide that service. We thank you for your suggestions and will continue to look into other possibilities in the future.

"My unit was banked and though I filled out paperwork ahead of time, someone still contacted me post-delivery, why is this necessary?"

Initially, either through prescreens or through admit screens (which are available in delivery), we process donors using a short screening form. However, if your unit is selected to be banked and stored in anticipation of a future transplantation, a longer medical and social history screening form must be completed.

This form is what the transplant team uses when considering to transplant a seriously ill patient with a cord blood unit.

We have elected to not give every donor, prior to delivery, this longer screening form as approximately 20-30% of collected units are selected to be banked.

The longer screening form is available upon request prior to delivery - but please note that we may still have to contact you after its submission, if there are any questions that need clarification.

"I received a letter stating that my baby's cord blood could not either be collected or banked, but it doesn't say why they discarded my unit. How much of all collected cord blood is banked and why is it that not all cord blood units are banked?"

Due to privacy reasons, if ever your mail was stolen or we had the wrong address, we do not release that information in letter format.

In order for a cord blood unit to be banked, it must meet many requirements.

First, it must contain enough stem cells to be considered therapeutic for transplant; otherwise it is sometimes used for quality control purposes, used to improve methods for processing cord blood or discarded. If a unit does not contain enough stem cells, it is not a reason for alarm. This is a normal variation.

Second, the mother’s health history must meet certain eligibility requirements. If a cord blood unit is being considered for banking, additional health history will be gathered from the mother by a Hawai’i Cord Blood Bank coordinator post-delivery. Depending on the family’s health history, it could change a cord blood unit’s eligibility status and the unit will not be able to be used for future transplant.

And third, the cord blood and accompanying maternal blood samples must show no signs of infection or other medical concerns. If there is a medical concern with either your baby’s cord blood or your maternal blood sample, you will be notified personally by our Medical Director.

If your cord blood unit is not selected for banking, please do not be discouraged. Your support and participation is greatly appreciated and has an overall positive impact on our mission. Hawai’i Cord Blood Bank receives a small amount of monetary credit for cord blood units sent. This helps us cover some of the operational costs related to supplies and shipping and enables us to continue our efforts.

Feel free to call our office at (808) 983-2265 for further questions regarding your unit.

"Do you charge money for this?"

As the only public cord blood bank in the state of Hawai'i, we do not charge money for the donation of your baby's cord blood. On our website at the Director's Message - you may read this information on the third paragraph from the bottom.

"Why did they have to draw my blood?"

If your baby's cord blood unit met/exceeded our 120 grams weight critera and is being sent out to our partner Bloodworks Northwest for processing, a nurse or lab tech will come in to draw your blood. This is necessary for two reasons: 1) we test your own blood for any infectious diseases, and 2) we archive your blood as your medical history might change down the road and we do not want to contact you years later for another blood sample.

Typically, this blood is drawn after birth to ensure that these maternal samples will be shipped together with the baby's cord blood unit. Further discussion about this process can be found on the second page of your consent form.

*Updated as of October 26, 2015.