What is umbilical cord blood?
Umbilical cord blood is what remains in the placenta following birth. The placenta is the temporary organ that transfers oxygen and nutrients to the baby via the umbilical cord while in the mother's uterus. Until recently, in most cases, the umbilical cord and the placenta were being discharged after birth. In the last decade, scientists and researchers have discovered that the umbilical cord blood could supply stem cells, the hidden treasure of life. The process is simple; the umbilical cord blood is collected, the stem cells are isolated and stored frozen.
What is stored umbilical cord blood used for?
Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of blood stem cells. These cells can be used to replace blood-forming cells in a person being treated for cancer or other life-threatening diseases such as haemoglobinopathies, leukaemias, inborn errors of metabolism, immune system deficiencies and numerous genetic diseases. Stem cell transplantation often offers hope for cure to many patients.
When is cord blood collected?
It is collected from the placenta and umbilical cord after the delivery of your baby. The collection process will not change your labour in any way. No blood will be taken from your baby. The safety of birth and delivery, your privacy and that of your baby are of paramount importance.
Is cord blood collection painful or risky?
Harvesting of cord blood is safer and more efficient than harvesting bone marrow from a donor. Once banked, it will become readily available whenever needed, with little or no chance of rejection. Furthermore, cord blood stem cells are not only a perfect match to your baby, but it has an increased probability of a match for the baby's siblings and can potentially be used for the baby's parents or grandparents
Who has the right to use the cord blood?
Your child's cord blood is reserved for your family's use, and you have full control over its usage
If I banked cord blood from one child, should I bank the next?
First, you don't know if the tissue type of the next child will match the previous child. Your children's HLA types come in pairs; in each pair, one is from the mother and one is from the father. The odds of siblings being a perfect match are 1 in 4. A cord blood transplant with a 5/6 or 4/6 mis-match of key HLA types carries less graft-vs-host disease than a perfect 6/6 bone marrow transplant.
How do you protect my baby's stem cells against potential contamination from other samples?
Each client sample is suspended in vapor-phase cryogenic isolation, which protects your family's cells and eliminates the risk of cross-contamination from other samples that can occur in liquid phase storage.
How long can cord blood stem cells be stored in liquid nitrogen?
Current data reflects that cord blood cells stored for fifteen years have the same composition as they did at the time of storage. All science involving cryogenic storage of cells also indicates that the cells should remain viable indefinitely.
How long will my baby's stem cells remain viable in the kit after collection?
For the best results, we want our clients to have the largest collection possible and to get the sample back to us as soon as possible. We request that each sample be received at our laboratory between 24 to 32 hours after collection. To be safe, we should receive the sample no later than 36 hours after the collection is performed
Do the stem cells have to be kept at room temperature before shipping?
Yes, the cells should be kept at room temperature. Not surprisingly, stem cells like body temperature. Never refrigerate the kit, expose it to freezing temperatures or extreme heat like in a closed vehicle or car trunk.