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Cord Blood Banking

What is umbilical cord blood storage?

Umbilical Cord Blood Storage is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity. For over 20 years parents have been umbilical cord blood banking by either donating their baby’s umbilical cord blood to a public bank or saving it for their own family’s use in a private cord blood storage facility. The blood in the umbilical cord and placenta contains stem cells that could potentially be used for the treatment of that child or another member of the family.

How is the umbilical cord blood collected?

Collecting umbilical cord blood is a simple, safe and painless procedure that usually takes less than five minutes and is done immediately after birth. Once the stem cells have been collected they are cryogenically frozen and can currently be stored for at least 25 years. Privately banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells ensures that if your baby or a matching family member ever needs them, they are immediately available for their use only.

Why Biovault Family?

We are not just a cord blood bank, but an experienced tissue bank that processes and stores tissue and stem cells for the NHS and private hospitals. We have released over 4,000 peripheral blood and bone marrow stem cells for transplantation. We have released the highest number of privately UK banked cord blood samples for transplantation; 2 samples were released just last year to treat Cerebral Palsy.

Our storage guarantee ensures that your child’s precious cells are securely stored for the full 25 years, we are the only company to provide this service.

Why store cord blood?

Umbilical cord blood stem cells save lives; umbilical cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells – cells that can renew or differentiate. These stem cells form the building blocks of the blood and immune system.

Cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat a wide variety of diseases and disorders, and research is continuing to extend the list of treatable diseases year on year.

The cord blood collection process does not interfere with your birth plan, still allows your partner to cut the umbilical cord, and it does not require the cord to be clamped early.

The umbilical cord blood collection procedure is completely safe and poses no risk to mum or baby, It takes around 5 minutes to collect the stem cells and is always carried out secondary to the care of both mum and baby.

Birth is the only opportunity to collect the umbilical cord blood stem cells – the umbilical cord blood is usually discarded with the umbilical cord as clinical waste if you don’t save it.

It provides peace of mind that your baby’s stem cells are stored and readily available should you ever need them in the future for that child, or for another member of the family if they are a suitable match.

Difference between whole and volume reduced blood?

Biovault Family stores volume reduced cord blood stem cells, i.e. we remove the majority of the useless red blood cells from the umbilical cord blood leaving only the beneficial stem cells to be frozen.

Along with the majority of stem cell cord banks (both public and private) Biovault Family volume reduces the stored samples – concentrating the sample by removing spare plasma and red blood cells by a centrifugation and isolation process, and freezing only the nucleated cell population, included in which are the stem cells.

The red blood cells discarded are of no therapeutic benefit. If a cord blood sample is stored whole without removing the red blood cells the sample will have to be washed before it can be transplanted as the red blood cells will fragment during the freezing process and are then toxic if transplanted. The washing process to remove the red blood cells will then cause a significant loss of the valuable stem cells, this is why public and private banks around the world volume reduce then freeze the cells.

Plasma will contain some growth factors which help stem cells to survive and grow. These growth factors are produced constantly in much larger amounts by other cells in the body, such as those lining blood vessels and many are available as non plasma derived manufactured products e.g. erythropoietin, and GCSF. The amount of erythropoietin and GCSF contained in the discarded plasma is therapeutically insignificant.

Why volume reduced is “the industry standard” – an independent view.

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