Storing Cord Blood – The Process
Simply call us and we will send you an information pack, this will include a medical history questionnaire, a consent form, and our contract. All you need to do is return the signed documents to us. Then:
- We then call you to arrange to send the Collection Kit to you
- We will then take the Collection Kit deposit
- We will check with you if your midwife or consultant will collect your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue samples. If not we can arrange for a phlebotomist to perform the collection for you.
Make sure you pack the Collection Kit with your hospital bag ready for the big day!
Stem Cell Collection
When your baby is born:
- Once the midwife has checked that you and your baby are OK, the cord blood and cord tissue can be collected by the healthcare professional using our stem cell collection kit.
- The collection kit contains everything required by the healthcare professional to collect the cord blood stem cells and cord tissue.
- Collecting the cord blood stem cells and tissue is simple and can be done before or after the placenta has been delivered and the umbilical cord clamped and cut.
- A sample of your blood (the maternal blood sample) is also required and can be collected before or after your baby has been born. We need to check for certain viruses, this is a requirement in the UK.
- Using the simple instructions in the kit, the stem cell collection samples need to be packaged correctly ready for transportation to our laboratory.
- Simply get your birthing partner to call us and we will arrange for a specialist courier to collect the stem cell collection kit from you.
- The courier will deliver the kit to our laboratories ready for processing and storage.
On arrival at our laboratories
Once the umbilical cord blood and cord tissue samples arrive, they are unpacked and assigned unique bar codes. They are then prepared for transfer into a sterile environment for processing.
- Cord blood and tissue samples are tested to see if they are contaminated
- Cord blood and tissue samples are processed and prepared for freezing
- The number of cord blood stem cells is assessed (CD34+)
- The total number and viability of cells is assessed
- Sub samples are stored for further testing if sample is required for transplant
Storage of cord blood sample
The umbilical cord blood and tissue samples are transferred to barcode labelled storage bags with tamper-evident seals. The samples are then frozen in a controlled manner to prevent ice crystals forming in the bag. Once frozen the samples are stored in vapour phase liquid nitrogen.
After Processing and Storage
Once we have successfully processed and stored your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue samples, we will call you. We will then have to wait for the test results from the maternal blood sample to be reported back.
We will send you a full set of your results which will include the following;
- Viability of the cord blood stem cells
- Total leukocyte count
- Total number of CD34+ cells (stem cells)
- Maternal blood test results
- Microbiology results (cord blood and cord tissue)
If your sample does not meet our acceptance criteria then we will discuss with you your options.
When the test results have cleared we will take the second and final payment for processing and storage.
We will send you your baby’s storage certificate.