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INFORMATION FOR CORD BLOOD DONORS

Background

Cord blood is one of the richest sources of blood forming stem cells and is discarded after childbirth. For over two decades these cells have been used to treat blood cancers, thalassemia and other blood diseases. Cord blood stem cells are being extensively used to treat children and young adults (weighing less than 40 kgs) because of the following advantages:

  • Readily available for use – unlike a registry of names and HLA types.
  • Has a long shelf life of over 24 years.
  • Though preferable, the match need not be 100%.
  • Very low incidence of complications like rejections and immune reactions.

Cord Blood is matched by HLA typing (Human Leucocyte Antigen). Only 30% of children with curable blood disorders are able to find a match within the family and the other 70% of children need to look for a match outside. HLA matching is ethnicity dependent and the chance of an Indian finding a match in other parts of the world is less than 10%. Even if lucky enough to find one, it will cost approximately USD 40,000 to import the same. Annually 20 million babies are born in India and equal numbers of cord blood resources are being discarded. An Indian Public Cord Blood Bank like Jeevan can increase the chance of finding a match to over 60% and also make it available free of any cost to those who cannot afford to reimburse the processing cost.

Procedures

Step 1
  • Enrollment Form to be filled in and reviewed.
  • Suitability for cord blood collection is ascertained.
Step 2
  • Cord blood collection.

Umbilical cord blood will be collected after the baby is delivered and after the cord is clamped and cut. It is a safe, simple and aseptic process. Collecting cord blood will not in any way harm you or your baby. Once collected, the bag is then sealed, labelled and sent to Jeevan Public Cord Blood Bank for further processing and testing. If, for some reason, it is not suitable for banking it will be discarded.

Testing

A sample of your blood will be collected any time after the onset of labour. If the cord blood unit qualifies for banking, your blood and your baby’s cord blood will be tested for a variety of genetic conditions and infectious agents including HIV and Hepatitis.

Other information

There is no cost to you for participating in this public cord blood banking program.

If we become aware of any results that are of importance to your or your baby’s health we will notify you. To better interpret and understand the results of such studies or tests, it may be necessary to contact you for follow-up testing. All donor and recipient records are strictly confidential.

When your baby’s cord blood unit information is shared with potential transplant centres, no personally identifying information will be shared. Private information will be held securely by us. If there is a change in your baby’s health, Jeevan Public Cord Blood Bank would like to know about it, as it may affect the suitability of the unit for transplantation.
If you need any clarification, please call 89399 99214 or 97908 97918 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm or email to stemcell@jeevan.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Stem cells are the master cells of our body from which all the other 250 types of cells are formed. The umbilical cord blood mainly contains hematopoietic or blood cell forming stem cells i.e. stem cells that form Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells and Platelets.

Stem cells have been used to treat almost 70 blood related diseases. Some of them are blood cancers like Leukemia and Myelo-proliferative disorders, Inherited Red Cell abnormality like Thalassemia, Immune-deficiency disorders and Inherited Metabolic Disorders.

HLA or Human Leukocyte Antigen testing is the test for specific proteins that are present on the surface of the leukocyte (white blood cell). If stem cells from one individual have to be used for another person, the HLA types of the donor and recipient need to match.

In public cord blood banking, there is no cost to the family concerned. The family donates their baby’s cord blood to the bank for future use by any Indian, subject to HLA compatibility. The cells belong to the bank and the family has no claims on the cells.
In private cord blood banking, the family pays a fee for storing their baby’s cord blood ONLY for their future use. The cells belong to the family.

When the stem cells are donated, these cells can be made available to anyone across the world who is a perfect HLA match. Hence the likelihood of usage is much more, especially for Indians in any part of the globe as these HLA proteins are similar in people of the same ethnic origins.

No. It is a completely safe and painless procedure that does not harm either the baby or you. People who are trained in cord blood collection will collect the cord
blood.

Pregnant women who are healthy, with a normal single pregnancy, healthy foetus and no complications anticipated at the time of delivery can donate. Even if you register, at the time of delivery depending on the conditions, your doctor, will decide on the suitability to collect cord blood.

As the cord blood volume in a twin is less than the minimum requirement of 70 ml, cord blood is not collected in twin pregnancies.

Families with history of any genetic disorder and blood related cancers in the parents and parents’ siblings cannot donate their baby’s cord blood.

If you donate your baby’s cord blood, you will be helping to build up a larger inventory. This will in turn increase the chances of finding a match for you or anyone else who requires it.

No. They can be used only for the treatment of blood cancers and Thalassemia and subject to HLA compatibility.

Currently studies have shown that they can be stored for 25 years without appreciable loss in viability.

Yes, we will collect a sample from the mother any time after onset of labour.

Preferably anytime in the 3rd trimester i.e. after 28 weeks and not on the day of delivery.

Yes. Approximately 50% of the cord blood donations will be fit for processing. If processed, the results of the tests done will be sent to you. If not processed, you will be sent a mail informing you of the reason why it was not fit for processing.

Download the Enrollment Form