Cord Blood FAQ’s
It is the vascular link formed by two arteries and a vein connecting the placenta with the baby. It is normally cut and discarded when the baby is delivered.
It is the organ through which the mother’s blood stream and the fetal one interact without mixing to achieve the nutrients and oxygen supply to the fetus from the mother’s blood. The waste generated by the fetus is also eliminated in this process.
This is a pretty easy and painless process, and it does not interfere with the delivery or subsequent care for your newborn. After your baby is born, but before the placenta is delivered, your doctor or nurse cleans a four- to eight- inch area of umbilical cord with antiseptic solution and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical cord vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity until it stops, after which the collection is complete. The blood bag tubing is knotted and clamped, and the blood bag is sealed, and labeled. The collection typically takes approximately five minutes. Four tubes of maternal blood are also drawn for testing.
Cord blood collection is safe and painless for you and your baby. The cord blood is collected after the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. Your healthcare provider does not need to alter the normal birthing process in any way, except to collect your baby’s cord blood. Cord blood collection is a simple procedure that usually takes approximately 5 minutes.
Any volume higher than 100ml will guarantee a good source of stem cells. Typically, collecting more cord blood means collecting more stem cells. This is important because having more stem cells for treatment can improve medical outcomes if the cells are needed for transplant. That’s why GeneCell International’s superior processing technology improves its ability to save every stem cell possible for your family.
At room temperature, the cord blood will still be viable 72 hours after collection. After that, its viability starts to decrease. For best results, the cord blood will be shipped to our laboratory within 24 hours after collection.
Once we receive your baby’s cord blood unit, our laboratory will conduct tests to assess the total volume collected and the concentration of stem cells. We will also test for bacterial and fungal contamination. As for the mother’s blood samples, they will be tested for infectious diseases as required by licensing agencies. After testing, your baby’s cord blood unit is cryopreserved and stored at -196º Celsius (-321º F).
Since stem cell research is an ongoing scientific activity, with new knowledge being acquired every day, it is hard to calculate the probabilities for a family member to eventually need his/her stored umbilical cord blood stem cells. However, recent data suggests that the probabilities for a child to eventually need to use his/her umbilical cord blood stem cells before his/her 21st birthday are approximately 1 in 20,000. At the same time, the chances for a family member to need these type of cells are 1 in 14,000.
Once the processing procedure and testing have been completed, a cryoprotectant will be added in order to ensure maximal cellular viability while the cells are under cryogenic conditions (approximately -321 0F/ -1960C.)