Our Attention to Detail with an Unparalleled Process
Our Precise Process of Cord Blood Collection and Storage
The baby's umbilical cord blood is collected after delivery, and the cord has been clamped and cut. The collection procedure includes rigorous decontamination of the cord prior to collection of the cord blood. The blood is then collected in a closed system, which is the superior method for minimizing contamination.
Cord blood can be obtained before or after the delivery of the placenta (afterbirth). In the post placental method (ex-utero method), the Healthcare Professional collects the umbilical cord blood after the afterbirth has been removed from the mother's womb. In the preplacental method (in-utero method), the Healthcare Professional collects the cord blood in the delivery room while the placenta is still in the womb.
Using sterile techniques, the attending doctor, midwife or labor & delivery nurse will insert a sterile needle into the umbilical vein to allow drainage of the blood by gravity into a sterile bag containing anticoagulant.
StemCyte provides detailed instructions for healthcare providers. Also, our medical staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions from healthcare providers and labor & delivery staff.
Collection can be accomplished either through a closed system via a sterile bag or an open system using a syringe. StemCyte strongly recommends (and only provides) using blood bags for collection. It is a closed system that minimizes the risk of bacterial and fungal contamination, and it is preferred by transplant physicians for its safety.
The entire collection process averages five to ten minutes and does not interfere with the first minutes of bonding between Mother and baby.
The collected unit is transported to the StemCyte's laboratory for further processing, testing and storage.
All necessary materials for collecting and shipping the cord blood are contained in the collection kit sent to the parents. The hospital will not need to provide any materials.
Transport to Our Center
StemCyte is unique among private banks in that we use insulated transport containers validated to maintain an optimum temperature during shipment under all weather conditions.
Unlike many other private banks—which require you to arrange pick up and transportation of cord blood—we take care of all of the logistics. We arrange getting the transport container with the cord blood inside from the hospital to the processing laboratory.
The cord blood bag is sealed and placed in the transport box along with the necessary paperwork. It is transported by highly experienced couriers to StemCyte's processing laboratory in Covina, Ca.
When it arrives, the baby's cord blood unit is processed and undergoes testing, including total cell count and sterility of the unit, to name just a few, as well as infectious disease testing on the maternal sample. After the cord blood unit is deemed acceptable for transplantation, it is stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen until needed.
The processing of the baby's umbilical cord blood will take place in our state-of-the-art laboratory at StemCyte's. Our proprietary Plasma Depletion processing method results in the highest possible yield of stem cells with excellent cell life. Only the plasma is removed from the cord blood unit. Other cord blood banks first remove the red cells, which may decrease the stem cell yield as well as remove other components that can affect transplantation..
Our highly trained staff will process the cord blood in accordance with over 400 validated procedures. Our proprietary method results in the highest possible yield (over 99% recovery) of stem cells. This is critical to providing a product of unsurpassed quality that will maximize the opportunity for a successful transplant of the cord blood unit should it ever be needed.
Each collected cord blood unit undergoes several tests to ensure safety, sufficient cell count, and viability of the stem cells. These include: blood typing (ABO and Rh typing); fungal and bacterial cultures; total nucleated cell count; viability assay and CD34 testing Infectious disease testing for certain diseases such as the AIDS virus (HIV), hepatitis, syphilis, cytomegalovirus and HTLV I/II virus is performed on the maternal sample. On occasion, genetic tests may also be performed when deemed necessary, for example, if there is a family history of inherited diseases.
Unless or until the cord blood is needed for a transplant, it will be stored at very low temperatures in liquid nitrogen vapor phase dewars. The exact expiration date of the unit is unknown because the field of umbilical cord blood transplantation is still relatively new. However, some studies have revealed that cryopreserved cord blood cells, stored more than twenty years, have remained viable. Many transplant experts believe cord blood stem cells may remain viable indefinitely.
StemCyte's quality program and method for assuring the identity of the cord blood ensures that the baby's cord blood will be accurately identified. Cord blood units are bar code labeled and repeatedly checked for proper identification. The frozen cord blood is stored in locked, stainless steel liquid nitrogen vapor phase dewares in our state-of-the-art facility. The temperature of the storage freezers is monitored continuously and any deviation from the proper temperature is immediately brought to the attention of laboratory staff. The freezers have double locks and require two individuals for accessing the cord blood units.