Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
Umbilical Cord Stem Cells with Cells4Life
Have you ever thought about this during your pregnancy? Well if you haven’t I suggest you quickly look into the amazing possible benefits of blood stem cell storage. This is a subject that was raised to me by a close friend who is a scientist around 33weeks of my pregnancy. I immediately looked into it and I knew I had to do my research and see whether this was something we should consider and arrange before the imminent birth of our baby. I have created this post with as much information as I could find regarding the company we have opted to use. However once I’ve had my baby I will also publish a follow up post on how it worked for me so please stay tuned.
What are umbilical cord stem cells?
Stem cells are naïve or master cells. This means they can transform into specialised cell types as needed by your body. Umbilical cord blood and tissue contain high concentrations of some stem cell types. In contrast to other types of stem cells, such as from bone marrow, umbilical cord stem cells are naïve, meaning they can become more cell types and are pure because they have no history. They are also more compatible with other family members, so reducing the chances of being rejected if used by relatives.
What do stem cells do?
Your child’s body has over 200 types of specialised cells, including hair, skin, organs, brain and nervous system. Each of these cells has just one function. Stem cells are extremely valuable in treating an increasing array of medical conditions where specialised cells are damaged and require replacing.
Why are baby umbilical cord cells so important?
Stem cells are found in many parts of the human body, although some sources have richer concentrations than others. Some excellent sources of stem cells, such as human embryos, are controversial and their use can be illegal in some countries. In contrast, umbilical cord blood and tissue are collected from material that normally has no use following a child’s birth. Umbilical cord blood and tissue cells are rich sources of stem cells, and an opportunity for you to safeguard your child’s health for years to come. Moreover, they can be easily and safely harvested, and reliably stored for treating future health issues.
The benefits of umbilical stem cell storage
Collecting stem cells from umbilical blood and tissue is ethical, pain-free, safe and simple. When they are needed to treat your child later in life, there will be no rejection or incompatibility issues, as the procedure will be using their own cells. In contrast, stem cells from donors do have these potential problems.
How to choose a stem cell bank
If you’re concerned about your child’s future health, you should be careful which stem cell bank you choose. I recommend you ask about the processes and technologies used by the bank – stem cell technology and applications are advancing rapidly and so should your chosen bio-bank. Check on their in-house expertise, too. Do they enable you to store whole blood from your child? This is a great investment for the future. Similarly, what is the future for your child’s blood and tissue samples? Does the stem cell bank have a robust contingency plan that will safeguard your child’s cells in the event the company is sold or goes out of business? Furthermore, are your child’s samples stored in a location that’s stable – politically, geologically and economically? Cells4Life stores their medical future in two separate locations here in the UK. And will your child’s stem cells be easily accessible if needed to treat disease during your child’s life?
Why choose Cells4Life?
They are a science-led organisation dedicated to delivering the best stem cell storage service in the world. Cells4Life stores more UK stem cell samples than any other private bank. They adhere to rigorous collection, storage, quality and safety procedures, and their customers receive support from a highly experienced team of doctors, scientists and specialists. Families trust their service because they know they use it to safeguard the health of their own children.
Stem cell collection from umbilical cord blood is simple, painless and completely safe. It occurs immediately after the birth of your child, and is undertaken by a trained and licensed healthcare professional such as an obstetrician, midwife or phlebotomist.
The only UK whole cord blood storage service
In addition to being one of the first UK companies to offer private stem cell storage to families, Cells4Life is the only one that stores whole cord blood. This method ensures more stem cells are stored, which may greatly increase the success of treatment should your child need it.
Trusted separating technology
The Cells4Life +Cell technology stores almost 20% more HSCs than any other cord blood volume-reduction technology – as used by NHSBT.
World-leader in cord blood and cord tissue storage
Cells4Life offers the most comprehensive range of services for umbilical cord tissue with either whole cord blood or volume-reduced samples. This enables you to take advantage of all therapeutic opportunities that the umbilical cord and blood provide.
Regulated by the HTA
Cells4Life has been audited and licensed as a stem cell storage service in the UK by the Human Tissue Authority, the UK’s regulatory body for tissue banking (licence number 11083). They comply with the EU Tissue and Cells Directive and Human Tissue (Quality and Safety for Human Application) Regulations 2007.
Your baby’s stem cell samples must be frozen as quickly as possible after birth, which is why Cells4Life operates its collection service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Unrivalled storage protection
They also differentiate themselves by being the only UK company to store your child’s stem cells in two separate, secure geographic locations in case an unforeseen event occurs at one of our facilities. Additionally, they store your sample in multiple portions so that if they are ever required, only the required amount is released for use. This allows them to preserve the remainder of the sample for future use.
On arrival at our storage facility, all samples are tested to ensure they contain more then 75% of living stem cells. All processing and testing is performed in their own laboratory, which enables them to provide their customers with clear evidence of the quality of their sample.
Cells4Life charges an all-inclusive fee for collection, processing and storage. However, only samples that contain a high percentage of living cells are stored. If they find contamination when testing your sample, the all-inclusive fee will be refunded (minus any third party costs and the non-refundable deposit).
Business continuity insurance
To ensure continued quality and safety of your child’s samples, Cells4Life has also taken out additional insurance to cover the costs of moving them to another licensed storage facility in the unlikely event of a corporate failure.