Umbilical cord blood and cord stem cells are collected by the physician or midwife simultaneously after the safe delivery of your baby and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The collection may occur before or after the delivery of the placenta. You will need to discuss your desire to collect your baby’s umbilical cord blood and cord stem cells with your obstetrician during your prenatal care. The delivering physician will have absolute discretion as to whether or not the cord blood and cord stem cells are collected and will not be obliged, in any way, to proceed with the collection if she/he determines that other clinical priorities exist.
Before your expected delivery date, StemCord will arrange for a representative to meet with your OB to demonstrate the step-by-step procedure for cord blood and/or cord stem cell collection and provide clear, concise written instructions and/or a training video on StemCord’s collection procedure(s). We will also provide you and your OB a list of our 24/7 service support mobile numbers to use if any other concerns arise before, during and after your delivery. Our medical-technical representatives can likewise coordinate with your OB to perform and/or assist in the actual cord blood collection at no extra cost to you. We are dedicated to the success of your cord blood collection and are committed to saving lives.
StemCord offers both the bag and syringe collection methods, which gives the obstetrician a choice to use the method she/he prefers. Most physicians find the blood bag method more convenient. There is a minimum of 40mL of cord blood to be collected to ensure its viability. However, we advise your physician, nurse, midwife, or other childbirth professional to fill the collection bag/syringe with as much cord blood as possible or to collect until such time that blood flow into the container has stopped. The key to a successful cord blood collection is in the adequate volume collected.
Following the birth of a baby, the umbilical cord is usually discarded along with the placenta. However, it is now known that the umbilical cord is a rich source of pluripotent haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Until recently, the umbilical cord, cord blood, together with the extremely useful HSCs and MSCs, is thrown away as clinical waste products.
Storing cord blood is suitable for every mother unless your obstetrician has cautioned you of a difficult or complicated pregnancy. Expectant parents with a family history of genetic diseases such as severe anemias, immune disorders, or some cancers, may want to consider the family benefit of storing cord blood. It is also particularly useful and advisable for small or single child families, pregnant women over 35 years old, sub-fertile couples, couples of different races, and for the first born child.
The cord blood and cord collection procedure is simple, painless, poses no risk or discomfort to the mother or child and does not interfere with the birthing process. It is performed with the utmost care and usually takes less than 5 minutes to collect. It can be performed in vaginal and caesarian deliveries, for single or for multiple births. The volume of blood collected is small and negligible that does not affect the baby’s blood circulation or “bleed” the mother.
The New York Health Dept. guidelines for cord blood banking state that umbilical stem cells can be stored indefinitely under liquid nitrogen. The policy states, “There is no evidence at present that cells stored at -196 degree C in an undisturbed manner lose either in-vitro determined viability or biologic activity. Therefore, at the current time, no expiration date need be assigned to cord blood stored continuously under liquid nitrogen.” All science involving cryogenic storage of cells also indicates that cells should remain viable indefinitely.
Since then, cord blood stem cells from related and unrelated donors have been successfully transplanted in over 10,000 individuals worldwide.
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