Cord blood banking is a topic being discussed more often by physicians and expectant parents. It is a growing trend and more than 5 million families have stored their baby’s cord blood worldwide. The vast array of information online can be difficult to sift through. Being presented with a lot of information at a short time can be very overwhelming and you might get confused about the different cord blood banking options available for you.
Saving the cord blood at birth is a unique opportunity to preserve the stem cells within the cord blood that could possibly be used by your child or other family members in the future. Here are some tips to help you in choosing a family cord blood bank:
1. Do your research and do it early
Talk to family, friends and your physician or midwife to get recommendations. There are a lot of useful websites about cord blood banking that could help you get started in your research as well. You should also check out the cord blood bank’s website to review their profile.
If you start researching early about the different family cord blood banks, you will have more time to consider which one you will enroll with. You will have a chance to ask the cord blood specialists as many questions as possible to help you make your decision.
Our Cells4Life cord blood banking specialists will be happy to assist you and walk you through the process of saving your baby’s precious cord blood. Simply call us on +971 4 3116613 or send us an email.
2. Know the regulations and requirements
You should inquire with the family cord blood bank about the licenses and accreditations their facility has. If they are registered with the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), they need to be able to pass the required regular audits because this shows that your cord blood sample will be screened, processed, and stored following the strictest quality assurance guidelines.
Cells4Life is accredited by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) for the procurement, testing, processing, storage, and distribution of human umbilical cord blood and tissue. Our very own blood separation technology known as TotiCyte has also been accredited by the HTA. This technology is patented and is exclusive to Cells4Life.
We have also been accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) – the global leader in developing standards, accreditation, and implementation of quality systems for transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. See more accreditations here »
Cells4Life is the only stem cell bank in Europe and Middle East licensed and regulated by both the HTA and AABB to collect, process, and store cord blood, cord tissue, placental cells, and amnion for therapeutic use.
3. Be picky with the process
Make sure you understand the cord blood banking process from the sign-up stage to the storage of your baby’s cord blood sample.
The first step in saving the cord blood at birth with Cells4Life is to contact one of our representatives. You will be given a storage agreement to be filled-out and signed, and then you’ll receive a cord blood collection kit. Make sure to inform your OB-GYN or midwife in advance about your decision to save the cord blood. On your delivery day, bring the collection kit with you to the hospital and your doctor will perform the extraction of cord blood once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The cord blood collection process is simple, non-invasive, and safe for both the mother and baby.
Once the cord blood sample is collected, it will then be sent to our laboratory in the UK for testing and processing. After 3-5 days, you’ll receive the initial testing results about the viability and volume of the sample collected. Then after 4-8 weeks, once all required testing is done and the sample is safely stored in our storage labs, you will receive a printed certificate as proof of storage. We will also be in touch with you on the latest stem cell news and company updates via monthly email newsletters.
WATCH VIDEO: SIMPLE STEPS TO CORD BLOOD BANKING
Aside from learning the steps to cord blood banking, you should also check the following carefully:
- Storage Agreement – You must read the storage contract carefully before you sign up. Ask the cord blood banking representative all the questions you have. Make sure that you understand the content and agree with all the terms and conditions mentioned on the agreement before you sign on it.
- Collection Kit – If your cord blood sample will be shipped outside the country, it is important to determine whether the collection kit will be able to maintain the sample’s viability while in transit. You will also need to ask if the courier company they are using is experienced in shipping medical blood samples.
- Proof of Storage – Find out what document will you get after your cord blood sample has been processed and stored. Make sure you get a reference number for your sample and at least a certificate confirming that your cord blood sample has been stored.
4. Business and stability
When checking the family cord blood bank’s profile, do not forget to look at the following:
- The founders of the company, the number of years they have been operating and how many samples do they currently have in storage.
- If they have released cord blood samples for transplant or treatment before.
- Additional security such as having a Business Continuity Insurance to ensure that the cord blood samples will be continuously stored at another facility in the unlikely event of company failure.
- Continuous communication with you even if your sample is already stored.
Founded in 2002, Cells4Life is one of the largest cord blood banks in the UK founded by Dr Jeff Drew who is also the Scientific Director at Cells4Life with 18+ years of experience in microbiological, cancer, gene therapy and genetic research. He is the developer of the company’s proprietary technology with more than 30 patents under his name including TotiCyte.
Would you like to learn more about cord blood banking? Speak to one of our specialists now on +971 4 3116613 or send us an email.