What are stem cells?
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.
Why is cord blood useful?
In recent years cord blood has been identified as one of the richest sources of stem cells that could be used effectively to treat a variety of diseases. Hence researchers and transplant physicians the world over have strongly advocated storing the stem cells since 1985.
What is the difference between private and public cord blood banking?
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 claim on the cells.
In private cord blood banking, the family pays a fee for storing their baby’s cord blood ONLY for their own future use. The cells belong to the family.
What is the rationale for public banking?
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.
Will CB collection harm my baby or me?
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.
Can all pregnant women donate CB?
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.
What if there twins?
As the cord blood volume in each twin is less than the minimum requirement of 70 ml usually, cord blood is not collected in twin pregnancies.
Who cannot donate cord blood?
Families with history of any genetic disorder and blood related cancers in the parents and parents’ siblings cannot donate their baby’s cord blood.
How do I benefit from donating my 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.
How long can these cells be stored?
Currently studies have shown that they can be stored for 25 years without appreciable loss in viability.
Will a blood sample be collected from the mother?
Yes, we will collect a sample from the mother any time after onset of labour.
When should I register for cord blood donation?
Preferably anytime in the 3rd trimester i.e. after 28 weeks and not on the day of delivery.
What are the tests done on the samples collected?
Jeevan does all tests as per the requirement of national and international bodies guiding stem cell storage and transplant.
Will I get a report on my cord blood donation?
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.
Can the stem cells be used for others in the family and for any illness?
No. They can be used only for the treatment of blood cancers and Thalassemia and subject to HLA compatibility.
In what conditions can stem cells be used?
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.
What is HLA Typing?
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.
Do I need to pay the cord blood bank any fee when I donate my baby's cord blood?
There is no fee involved, as you have offered to generously donate the cord blood for anyone’s use. The cord blood / stem cell bank takes care of the costs involved in the collection, transport, processing and storage.
Who owns the stem cells derived from donated umbilical cord?
Jeevan Stem Cell Bank owns the cells.
If I need the stem cells, can I get them back?
In case the cells are available, you will be able to use the same.
Will I have to pay to get the stem cells back?
Yes, you will have to reimburse the bank for the cost of collection, testing, processing and storage..