How is cord blood collected?

It literally only takes minutes to save the stem cells in cord blood.  Once the cord is clamped, the cord is wiped with antiseptic and a needle is inserted into one of the veins in the umbilical cord to withdraw a few ounces of blood.

There are two methods of collection in common use.  One is to hang a blood bag lower than the mother and let gravity draw blood down the tube into the bag.  This method is used in most countries of the world, because it has the fewest steps, and therefore the fewest opportunities for mistakes or contamination.

The second method is to actively draw the blood out, just like when a person has a blood draw for a medical test.  The draw can be done with a standard syringe or with a bulb in the bag tubing that creates suction.  Studies have shown that actively drawing the blood will collect a larger volume faster.