Where is my baby’s Cord Blood or Cord Blood + Tissue stored?
Cell Care has its own state-of-the-art processing and storage facility in Victoria. The facility has continuous CCTV security monitoring, controlled swipe card access and back-to-base intrusion alarms monitored by an external security company 365 days a year. Critical areas have been temperature-mapped and are continuously monitored. A 12,000L bulk liquid nitrogen tank maintains supplies to each cryogenic storage vessel via vacuum insulated piping, ensuring that the cells have a continuous source of liquid nitrogen.
How are the stem cells stored?
Once the cells have been through the processing phase, they are transferred to a cryogenic storage tank for long-term storage in the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen.
How long can the stem cells be stored?
Once the cells are frozen and stored at cryogenic temperatures, scientists have determined that all cell activity stops. With no molecular movement there is no potential for further damage, which means the cells can be stored for extended periods of time without compromising their integrity.
Currently there is no use-by date for cord blood stem cells. Published research suggests that after 23 years of cryopreservation, cord blood stem cells show no degeneration. Comparatively, bone marrow and other human tissues and cells have been stored for decades and have remained viable. There is no reason to believe that the same would not be true for Cord Blood or Cord Blood + Tissue.
What are my options for storing my baby’s cord blood?
Once routinely discarded after birth, cord blood can now be collected and stored. Collecting cord blood is a simple, safe and painless procedure that usually takes less than three minutes and happens immediately after birth.
In Australia parents currently have three choices:
- Store their baby’s cord blood for individual or family use
- Donate their baby’s cord blood to a government-funded, non-profit, public cord blood bank for use by anyone needing a transplant
- Allow their baby’s cord blood to be discarded at birth
Read more about your banking options.
How do I donate my baby’s cord blood to the public bank?
AusCord is the Australian national network of cord blood banks and cord blood collection centres. The network collects and banks cord blood from voluntary donors for anonymous use by patients needing a stem cell transplant. Only hospitals associated with the public cord blood banks that are licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy are able to collect cord blood. Stringent acceptance criteria apply, which means not every sample collected is banked.
AusCord employs trained collection personnel to collect cord blood during working hours from a limited number of hospitals in NSW, VIC, QLD and the NT. Currently there are no collection facilities in Western Australia, South Australia or Tasmania.
If my baby needs a transplant, couldn’t I just use the public bank?
When you donate for public use, the cord blood is available to any patient who needs a transplant. It is not reserved for your family, so you cannot assume that it will be available for your family if ever needed.
It is also important to understand that not all donated samples are banked. Many donations are rejected by public banks based on family medical history, maternal medical history, collection volume and examination of the maternal blood sample. There is no guarantee that a matched sample will be available in a public bank. Many patients are unable to find a donor, especially those who belong to minority ethnic groups that are not adequately represented in public banks.
Only private banking ensures that your baby's cord blood is saved and available if ever needed.
For regenerative medicine applications, the child's own cord blood will be required, so storing your baby's cord blood is the only option.