The umbilical cord blood remains in the umbilical vein after the cord is clamped and cut. A decade or so ago, this blood was typically discarded together with the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. But now, since scientists have discovered that this blood is rich in clean, high quality and smart stem cells, it is collected and kept frozen in state-of-the-art stem cell storage facilities for future therapy needs.
The process of stem cells storage begins as the delivery ends:
- Congratulations, you’ve just given birth! The baby has arrived whether by vaginal delivery or C-section and the placenta is still in the womb. This is the exact moment when the doctor or midwife will collect the cord blood for stem cell storage. It’s a simple process, taking no more than five minutes and completely safe and painless for both mother and baby. After cutting the umbilical cord, the midwife attaches a syringe to it, connected to a collection bag. The baby is not involved in this process at all. The course of delivery is normal, and no action is taken to increase the amount of blood in the umbilical cord.
- The blood contained within the placenta is then directly drawn into the sterile collection bag, specially designed for contamination-free stem cell storage.
- In addition, a blood sample will be collected from the mother to rule out any infections and viruses and make sure that the cord blood taken for stem cell storage is of the highest quality.
- After collection is complete, cord blood units are kept at room temperature and transported by a medical courier to the cord blood bank for stem cell storage at AssureImmune.
- The cord blood that was collected and the mother’s blood taken during delivery are examined in order to verify that the cord blood units are suitable for preservation.
- Cord blood is cryopreserved at a temperature of 196 degrees Celsius below zero, which enables effective long term stem cell storage.
- The family is notified of completion of the preservation process.
From this moment, you can rest assured that your baby’s stem cells are always available for immediate use should your family ever need them.