Cord blood Collection
The blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord after birth is known as Cord Blood. This blood contains many different types of cells including very small numbers of a particular type of cell, known as Stem Cell. These cells are the building blocks of all other cells in the body. Different parts of the body are made up of different types of cells: the heart is made up of heart cells, the liver is made up of liver cells, blood is made of blood cells, and so on. Stem cells can grow into these different kinds of cells in the body.
Why is cord blood useful?
Cord blood is routinely discarded after birth, but a process of collecting and storing the cord blood (known as cord blood banking) allows you to save this valuable resource for treating a disease or illness in the future, such as:
- Blood related disorders such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia & thalassaemia
- Some immune system disorders
The chance of your child ever needing to use his or her own cord blood are extremely small, so there is no guarantee that the cord blood will ever be needed as it may also be used by a family member. Nevertheless, you may feel this is worthwhile, like an insurance policy.
How is cord blood collected?
The cord blood collection process is simple, safe & painless. Cord blood should be collected during the first 15 minutes following the birth and should be processed by the laboratory within 48 hours of collection.
The process usually does not interfere with delivery and is possible with both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. A syringe is used to draw blood from the umbilical cord shortly after umbilical cord has been cut. The process is like drawing blood for a regular blood test. The syringe or bag should be pre labeled with your baby’s data
How does the bank store cord blood?
Soon after birth, the cord & cord blood will be picked up. It will be checked and prepared for further storage. Afterwards, it will be transferred to the blood bank.
It will be divided into two cryogenic bags and conserved below - 190◦ C. at two physically separated locations or additional safety. This is known as Cryopreservation. Cord blood can be stored for many years
Cord blood collection may not be advisable or possible, if
- The baby is premature
- The cord around the neck needs to be cut early to deliver the baby
- The baby is delivered by emergency section
- You or the father of the baby has tested for transmissible infections
If you are considering private banking; you discuss this with your doctor or midwife who can provide you with further information about private banking
If you have chosen cord blood banking, you are expected to inform your doctor about your cord blood collection. You are expected to sign the consent form also. It is your responsibility to inform your private Cord Blood Banking at the time of your labor
Your private cord blood banker will provide their own kit; the cord & cord blood will be collected by your doctor at the time of your delivery & handed over to your cord blood banker