Texas’ only state-sanctioned cord blood bank in San Antonio has reached a major milestone. With more than 800 units banked in the last year, the Texas Cord Blood Bank, housed at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, is now part of the National Marrow Donor Program and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks.
The precious cells frozen at the bank have the potential to help people with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders. It’s harvested at hospitals from the umbilical cord, right after birth. Parents volunteer to donate the fluid, which is rich in blood-making cells.
There are fewer than 20 cord blood banks and only this one in Texas. The ethnic make-up of donors here makes this bank a valuable national resource.
The goal is for the Texas Cord Blood Bank to collect 1,000 units each year, and to maintain 6,000 frozen units to match with needy patients around the world.