Being able to save your newborn baby's cord blood is a unique opportunity for expecting parents as it can only be done right after your baby is born - when the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Collecting the cord blood is performed by the doctor or midwife using a collection kit provided by your chosen cord blood bank. Once cord blood has been collected, it is then sent to the laboratory for testing, processing, and storage for many years.
Signing up to cord blood banking starts with researching for a cord blood bank that you think will be able to provide you with the best options. Speaking with a cord blood banking specialist is an efficient way to learn more about saving the cord blood if you find the information online to be overwhelming and time-consuming.
In this post, we are going to highlight 8 of the most important questions to ask the cord blood banking specialist to help you make the most out of your scheduled appointment - whether via phone call, online meeting, or physical meeting.
1. What is the geographic location of the laboratory and storage facility?
Timing is critical in terms of your baby’s cord blood sample quality. The faster it can be delivered to the laboratory, the better. Delay in transit times can affect the cord blood sample's viability. Ask the cord blood banking specialist about the location of their laboratory and how many miles your sample has to travel from the airport to the laboratory before it can be processed.
The Cells4Life laboratory for processing samples is based in Sussex, easily accessible to the Gatwick UK airport and we are close to all modes of transportation that ensures timely arrival of your sample to the lab. Our laboratory is also open 24/7, 365 days a year - even during weekends and holidays, to make sure that all samples that arrived will be tested and processed immediately.
2. Will your baby’s cord blood sample be shipped to the laboratory in a specially designed medical container?
You need to ensure that your cord blood sample is not shipped with gel packs, specially if the sample is going outside the country where it is collected, as the required temperature is not maintained for the duration of the shipment. This is also critical to your baby’s cord blood sample quality.
Cells4Life’s state-of-the-art cord blood collection kit contains a built-in NanoCool, a reliable refrigerated shipping system which maintains temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for over 72 hours. This keeps the cord blood sample’s quality during long hours of transportation.
Upon signing up, you will immediately receive your cord blood collection kit which you will need to bring with you to the hospital on the day of delivery. Watch the video below to learn the simple steps to saving the cord blood with Cells4Life:
3. Is the laboratory privately owned facility or do they simply provide storage for a number of different companies and services?
Check if the company you choose is privately owned and is not simply a storage facility for commercial companies. Cells4Life specialises in cord blood storage ensuring your samples are handled with utmost care and expertise.
Founded in 2002, Cells4Life aims to provide high quality stem cell banking services to parents around the world, including the UAE and other parts of the Middle East - Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, and more. We have 19+ years experience in providing cord blood banking services and we have more than 150,000 cord blood samples in our storages labs in the UK. We have the most comprehensive cord blood banking options for parents-to-be and we have released cord blood samples for treatment of conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, leukaemia, perinatal stroke, and more. Watch the video below to learn more about the services we offer:
4. Is your sample stored in two separate geographical locations and multiple sub-divisions for safety?
Do not limit the use of your baby’s valuable cord blood stem cells by allowing it to be stored in only one portion. At Cells4Life your baby's cord blood sample is stored into multiple subdivisions that gives you the unique opportunity to use your sample a number of times and not just once in the future. You can only use a portion of the stored cord blood as required in transplant and keep the remaining in storage until needed in the future. Storing in our 2 geographically separate and accredited laboratories in the UK also provides more security.
5. Is the contract signed directly with the cord blood bank?
Ensure that your contract is legitimate and protects you. Be wary of contracts that are simply created and signed by a third party on behalf of the storage location. Your contract must be a legal document between you and where your sample is stored.
Your storage agreement with Cells4Life is a pre-signed legal document by the laboratory in the UK as per the UK and EU law.
6. What type of records should you receive after the storage?
You need to ensure that tests are performed on your sample as they are critical components for cord blood transplant and you should be informed of the results afterwards.
Cells4Life provides you with a Testing Certificate providing the full details of your sample’s quality, such as the total nucleated cell count (TNCC), viability, sterility and maternal disease markers when your baby's cord blood has been throughly tested and processed. Our cord blood banking specialist will also give you a call to explain the results and answer all you questions about it before delivering the certificate to your provided address.
7. What type of accreditation/s does the storage facility carry?
In most banks your baby’s cord blood is stored in the lab where it was processed, and the accreditation of the lab covers the storage conditions. Ensure that the laboratory where your sample is processed and the storage facility are both accredited by a recognised governing body.
Cells4Life is the first and only stem cell bank in the Europe and Middle East licensed and regulated by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) to collect, process, and store the cord blood, cord tissue, placental cells, and amnion for therapeutic use.
8. Can the company supply you with clinical proof of their processing methods and statements?
Cells4Life is a company started by medical doctors and healthcare professionals in the UK with the highest level of expertise in cord blood and tissue stem cell banking. Every statement made with reference to clinical processes in Cells4Life is supported backed up by reference to clinical studies and scientific documents, as is the ethical and normal practice in the medical world. Be wary of inexperienced commercial companies who cannot provide you with clinical proof and data.
By asking and discussing the above-mentioned questions with your cord blood banking specialist, you should be able to decide which cord blood banking company is the best for saving your baby’s cord blood. Want to book for appointment to discuss further? Call us now at +971 4 3116613 or send us an email