FAQs

Cord Blood

What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains behind in the placenta and umbilical cord after the birth of a baby. It is a rich source of stem cells, notably blood stem cells. Cord blood can be collected shortly after delivery. It is a painless and risk-free procedure that your healthcare provider can perform.
How can cord blood help today?
Cord blood stem cells have the unique ability to mature and develop into all types of blood cells. They can be used for transplantation in place of bone marrow in the treatment of over 80 diseases including cancers, genetic diseases, immune deficiencies and blood disorders. In the case of family banked CB samples, how the cord blood sample is used depends on the disease being treated. Typically family banked samples will be used for a sibling, the child itself, or an immediate family member. In cases of early childhood leukemia, the child’s own cord blood would not likely be used; rather a cord blood unit from the child’s sibling would be best if the tissue match is adequate. Cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 40,000 transplants worldwide to date.
How can cord blood help tomorrow?
Cord blood stem cells have the potential to treat an ever growing list of illnesses. Clinical trials are underway around the world to determine whether cord blood may be useful in the treatment of many diseases including: Autism, Acquired Hearing Loss, Type 1 Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy, Pediatric Brain Injury, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, Metabolic Disorders and Spinal Cord Injury.
How are cord blood stem cells stored and for how long?
Once processed, the cord blood stem cells are frozen in a controlled rate freezer then placed into long term liquid nitrogen storage tanks. The stem cells are maintained at temperatures below -150°C. Current literature has reported that cord blood stem cells remain viable for at least 24 years of storage.16 Scientists believe they may be stored indefinitely.
Who is choosing to store cord blood?
  • Families who want the security of a treatment option in the event of a medical crisis or scientific advancement
  • Mixed race families who may have more difficulty obtaining a bone marrow match.
  • Families with a known family history of illness treatable by stem cells.
Who can use the cord blood?
If you store with a family bank, the cord blood stem cells are owned by the family for their exclusive use. These cells are a perfect genetic match for the baby and may also be an acceptable match for family members. Your stored unit can only be released with your written consent.
Will my baby’s cord blood ever be needed?
With the ever growing list of potential uses and research, the possibility of your family benefiting from a cord blood stem cell transplant also increases. Cord blood is an acceptable source of stem cells world-wide. Current research shows that there may be up to a 1:200 chance that you or a family member will benefit from a stem cell transplant in your lifetime.

Cord Tissue

What is cord tissue?

Cord tissue is a segment of your baby’s umbilical cord that contains several different cell types, each of which may have future potential for cellular therapy. Cord tissue is valuable because it is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are distinct from the blood stem cells found in your baby’s cord blood.6

What are the advantages of banking cord tissue?

While the clinical development of cord tissue MSCs is at the early stage, the field of regenerative medicine is advancing steadily. Stem cell research has been the foundation of regenerative medicine which has the potential to transform medicine. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people may benefit from regenerative medicine in the future.7 The optimal conditions to isolate and treat MSCs for clinical use are still being developed. As such, Insception Lifebank stores your baby’s intact cord tissue, preserving all the cells within it to maximize your family’s future health options. Banking cord tissue today may provide future options for your child and your family.

What is the difference between Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells and Cord Tissue Stem Cells?
Umbilical Cord Blood Umbilical Cord Tissue
Rich source of hematopoietic (blood) stem cells Rich source of mesenchymal stem cells
Hematopoietic stem cells are used in bone marrow transplants for 80+ diseases including cancer, genetic diseases and blood disorders.10 MSCs can inhibit inflammation, suppress the immune response, aid in tissue repair and differentiate into structural tissue including bone and cartilage.9
Clinical trials are investigating cord blood in the treatment of autism, acquired hearing loss, type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury. Clinical development of cord tissue MSCs is at an early stage. MSCs from several tissues are in clinical trials to investigate treatments for heart failure, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and many more.8

About Family Banking

What are the advantages to family banking?
  • Perfect genetic match for your child
  • May be a suitable match for a family member
  • Ongoing medical history of the donor is known to the family
  • Available immediately if needed
  • Lower chance of transplant rejection
  • Available at all Canadian hospitals and home deliveries
  • Opportunity to participate in emerging clinical trials (i.e. Type 1 Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy) that require the use of the child’s own cord blood.
Can I donate to a public bank?
In Canada, there are several family cord blood banks to choose from and limited options for public banking. Canadian public cord blood banking services are provided by Canadian Blood Services, Hema-Quebec and Victoria’s Angels Cord Blood Registry. These public banks accept cord blood donations only from specific hospitals. Once donated, a cord blood unit becomes property of the public bank and will be banked if it meets stringent criteria. A cord blood unit banked in a public bank is listed on international registries and made available to patients in need worldwide.
How do I select a cord blood bank?
  • Competence: a listing of successful transplants from their stored units
  • Experience: the number of families who have chosen their service
  • Credibility: partnerships with leading hospitals, strong board of governance
  • Accreditation: AABB and FACT
  • Facility: purpose built and secure, availability of on-site tour
  • Quality staff: Scientists, Certified Medical Laboratory Technologists, Registered Nurses
Is there a cost?
Government funding is not available to cover the expenses associated with family banking. The cost varies but generally averages $1,080-1,200 (plus tax) initially and then $125 for the annual storage of cord blood. For families also interested in saving cord tissue, the average cost is $700+$100 (annual storage fee). A variety of payment options are available to help make this affordable for all.  For Insception Lifebank pricing please visit:  https://www.insception.com/pricing
How do I become cord blood ready?
How do I become cord blood educated?

Delayed Cord Clamping

Can I delay the cord clamping if I want to collect cord blood?
Yes! Healthcare providers may be able to collect a sufficient volume of cord blood even when practicing delayed cord clamping, depending on the length of time that the cord clamping is delayed. It is best to discuss this option with your healthcare provider. At Insception Lifebank, we review the results of your sample before it is stored, and offer a refund policy if there is not enough to store so that you can feel confident in your decision.

Registration, Processing and Storage

When do I need to register?

As you only have one chance to collect your baby’s cord blood – immediately after birth – Insception Lifebank recommends obtaining your collection kit 4-6 weeks prior to your baby’s birth. However, you may register at anytime during your pregnancy. Be sure to allow sufficient time to complete registration and obtain your collection kit. You should inform your physician or midwife about your decision to bank your child’s cord blood.

When do I receive the collection kit?

Once we receive your completed registration documents, you will be contacted to make arrangements for the delivery of your collection kit.

What should I do with the collection kit?

Review the “Instruction Booklet” included with the collection kit and complete the medical questionnaire found within the booklet. Store the kit indoors at room temperature, not in your car, where temperature extremes may affect the collection kit. Remember to take your cord blood collection kit with you to your birthing centre when you are ready to deliver. We recommend packing it along with your other personal items in the overnight bag you will be taking to the hospital.

What blood work will I need to have done?

Health Canada Regulations and AABB standards require the following tests be completed either the day you have your baby or within 7 days of birth:

  • Hepatitis B (HBsAg)
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody (Anti-HBc)
  • Hepatitis C (Anti-HCV)
  • HIV 1/2
  • HTLV I/II
  • CMV
  • Syphilis Screen
  • West Nile Virus

Please note:

  • Health Canada Regulations exclude those with certain blood transmissible diseases, including HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, from banking cord blood. If you think you may have such a disease or have engaged in a high-risk activity that may have exposed you to such a disease, please discuss with one of our Clinical Consultants before continuing with the enrolment process.
  • If, after collecting and processing the cord blood, the maternal testing identifies an infectious disease which Health Canada lists as excluding a donor from cord blood banking, you will be contacted by one of our Clinical Consultants.
What happens during collection?

The collection process can take as little as five minutes. It’s clean, painless and does not interfere with your delivery. Your healthcare provider clamps and cuts the umbilical cord. Next, instead of discarding the cord, a small area is sanitized and a needle, with a blood bag attached, is inserted into the umbilical vein. The cord blood flows by gravity into the collection bag. Your collection kit contains the supplies and instructions for your healthcare provider.

How much cord blood is enough?

The minimum volume of cord blood suggested to collect is 35 ml for a total bag volume of 70 ml (i.e. 35 ml of cord blood plus 35 ml of anticoagulant). The collection bag itself contains 35 ml of clear anticoagulant, which preserves the stem cells until they are processed. The presence of this anticoagulant may create the visual impression that the volume of cord blood is more than is actually collected. Your unit will be accurately measured at the Insception Lifebank laboratory.

What do I do once the cord blood is collected?

Within two hours of your baby’s birth, please call Insception Lifebank according to the Collection Kit’s “Instruction Booklet”. Insception Lifebank will arrange for pick up of your cord blood unit by our medical courier within 24 hours of receiving your phone call. Our staff will provide a confirmation SMS within 24 hours of receipt of your unit at our facility.

Why is the storage contract for 18 years?

The mother is the custodian of the cord blood stem cell unit; it cannot be released or used without her written consent and permission. Once the child turns 18 years old, they then become the owner of record and can make decisions with regards to the unit. As the contract gets close to the 18-year mark, clients will be given the option to renew the contract.

What will happen to my cord blood stem cells if I move?

If you move, your cord blood will remain safe and secure with Insception Lifebank. If there is ever a need, Insception Lifebank can ship your cord blood to a treatment centre anywhere in the world. There may be transportation charges associated with the transfer.

What happens if I choose to stop storing my child’s stem cells?

Should you decide that you no longer wish to store your child’s cord blood unit, you have the option to:

  • Donate to our research department
  • Discard to medical waste

Insception Lifebank will require that you complete an authorization form to terminate storage before removing the cord blood stem cells from storage.

What happens if we need the stems cells?

If your child or another family member requires your cord blood stem cells for transplant, your physician will contact our Transplant Coordinator and we will arrange the cord blood’s safe transportation. Insception Lifebank has extensive experience releasing cord blood units for transplantation both locally and internationally.

Can I be assured of a successful transplant using my cord blood stem cells?

The decision to transplant using your cord blood stem cells will be made by the transplanting physician. There are many factors that influence the outcome of a transplant, including disease and disease status. As with using bone marrow for treatment, there are no guarantees that cord blood stem cells will provide an effective treatment. However, the availability of matched cord blood stem cells provides the transplant physician with a viable option to treat certain diseases.

Worldwide, more than 35,000 cord blood stem cell transplants have been performed. To date, the Insception Lifebank Cord Blood Program has processed and released 14 cord blood units for transplant and 11 cord blood units for cellular therapies.

100% of the stored units at Insception Lifebank that were released for treatment met the criteria for transplant.

Will anyone else have access to my child’s stem cells?

No. Your cord blood stem cells are stored for your child’s and your family’s needs. The sample will only be released with your written authorization.

Who regulates cord blood banks in Canada?

Since December 2007, all cord blood banks in Canada must comply with Health Canada under the “Safety of Cells, Tissues and Organs” (CTO) regulations. All cord blood banks are required to be registered with Health Canada and are subject to inspection at any time.

How is my personal information kept confidential at Insception Lifebank?

During the course of registration, Insception Lifebank gathers only personal and health related information required to perform the cord blood banking services. Insception Lifebank is committed to protecting the privacy of all personal and health information through adherence to its “Privacy Policy”, which is in compliance with the “Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act” (PIPEDA). Questions or concerns about Insception Lifebank’s Privacy Statement may be sent to info@insceptiontest.com/wordpress.

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