FAQ
FAQ

Cord Blood FAQ

Collecting Cord Blood Stem Cells

Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord immediately after the birth (normal delivery or caesarean section) of the baby and after the cord has been cut. Previously, this blood is routinely discarded and collecting it does not alter normal birthing procedures.

At present, we have a network of over 400 doctors collecting cord blood for our clients. This network covers more than 150 hospitals and birthing centres throughout Malaysia and across Asian countries. We provide training to doctors who is collecting cord blood for the very first time to ensure proper collection procedures are adhered to. In addition, we also provide continuing education/resources to the medical fraternity on stem cells-related topics.

No. The cord blood is collected after your baby is born and taken away for care. The collection is painless, easy and safe for mother and baby. The cord blood collection process only takes about 5 minutes and do not alter your birthing process in any way. Should any complication arise during delivery, priority is given towards the care of the mother & baby, prior to collecting the cord blood itself.

No. You will receive a collection kit for your baby’s cord blood stem cells when you enrol with StemLife. The collection kit contains all the items needed to collect our baby’s cord blood. However, you must remember to bring the kit with you to the hospital for delivery.

The median volume of a cord blood collection is 60 mL, which gives an average amount of 500-800 million Total Nucleated Cells (TNC) or over 1 million blood forming stem cells that test positive for the stem cell marker CD341. However, this tends to vary depending on various factors such as volume collected, gestation period, size and length of the cord etc.

The number of cells needed in a transplant varies but at least 20 million nucleated cells per kg of body weight of recipient is desirable. Therefore, a unit containing 500 million nucleated cells is the minimum required for treating a 25kg child. However, it is important to note that this is only a guideline. The number of stem cells required for therapy will depend on the treatment regimen and your attending doctor. In general, successful outcome for stem cells transplant also depends on other factors like cell viability, HLA matching and severity of the patient’s condition.

The purpose of delayed cord clamping is to allow some of the blood in the umbilical cord to flow back into the newborn. The procedure offers the most benefits to preterm babies. However, it also increases the risk of jaundice for babies2. If you are interested in storing your baby’s cord blood, it is recommended to clamp the cord within 30-60 seconds after birth. When cord clamping is delayed beyond 60 seconds the volume of cord blood collected drops seven-fold. That could be a problem if you are trying to get enough stem cells for a transplant of an older sibling. You may read more regarding delayed cord clamping and cord blood storage here

Shipping and Handling of Cord Blood

Our team will arrange for shipping of the cord blood unit within 24 hours after the birth of your baby.
Please call the number listed on the kit for pickup.

The cord blood is shipped to the laboratory in a custom-made cooler bag and the temperature is monitored continuously throughout the whole process.

The stem cells viability decreases over time. Transporting in an optimal condition can prolong the viability. StemLife has validated up to 60 hours which is within the international standards recommendation of 72 hours.

Yes, the stem cells in the collection kit should be kept at room temperature in a normal air-conditioned environment. Do not refrigerate the kit or expose it to extreme heat.

We have served clients in many countries around the world. If you are delivering outside of Malaysia, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our hotline at +603 2166 3636 for more information.

Storage of Cord Blood

Theoretically, cord blood can be stored indefinitely if it is processed and stored properly at -196°C. At StemLife, our processing procedures and storage facilities are stringently monitored to be compliant with AABB standard. Technology on stem cells efficiency recovery had advanced considerably over the years. A recent study showed that a unit of cryopreserved cord blood that had been stored for 23.5 years old was taken out for testing was still able to achieve a highly efficient recovery rates of between 80-100%3. In addition, there is no evidence at present to show cryopreserved cells will lose either their viability or biological activity after substantial period if it is stored properly4.

Yes. Saving all your children’s cord blood gives your family more options. Each child’s cells are genetically unique to his/her own self. Although your child may use his/her own stem cells for a number of diseases, this is not generally the case for inherited diseases. In these instances, priority would be given to the use of a matched sibling’s stem cells. So, banking a child’s cord blood is also a form of “biological insurance” for siblings. Siblings donor are always better for stem cell transplants. There are several case studies that shown transplants from siblings’ donor resulted in higher survival rate versus unrelated donor5,6.

Enrolment & Packages

Enrolment is quick and easy. You may submit your details here and our consultant will contact you. Alternatively, just give us a call at +603 2166 3636.

At StemLife, we go the extra mile to provide clients with the most comprehensive protection possible for their children. Every step of the way – from cord blood & cord stem cells collection to testing, processing and storage, we handle with care to ensure the quality of stem cells stored.

To make it easy and affordable for you, we offer a wide array of payment plans and options to suit different needs and preferences.
Click here for the price plan.

A large proportion of babies arrive before their expected due date. It is best to decide early. We strongly recommend making the decision during your second trimester as saving your baby’s precious cord blood is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is never too late if you have yet to enrol. So, please call us before your doctor cuts the cord! Do bear in mind that some hospitals do not entertain late decisions.

Like any service, a minimal procedure fee may be charged to ensure that your baby’s cord blood is collected. Kindly ask your doctor.

Links to resources

Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation: https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/faqs

References:

1. Sun J, Allison J, McLaughlin C, et al. Differences in quality between privately and publicly banked umbilical cord blood units: a pilot study of autologous cord blood infusion in children with acquired neurologic disorders. Transfusion. 2010;50(9):1980-1987.
2. Qian Y, Lu Q, Shao H, Ying X, Huang W, Hua Y. Timing of umbilical cord clamping and neonatal jaundice in singleton term pregnancy. Early Human Development. 2020;142:104948.
3. Broxmeyer HE, Lee M-R, Hangoc G, et al. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, and isolation of endothelial progenitors from 21- to 23.5-year cryopreserved cord blood. Blood. 2011;117(18):4773-4777. 4. Mazur P. Cryobiology: The Freezing of Biological Systems. Science. 1970;168(3934):939-949.
5. Weisdorf DJ, Anasetti C, Antin JH, et al. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for chronic myelogenous leukemia: comparative analysis of unrelated versus matched sibling donor transplantation. Blood. 2002;99(6):1971-1977.
6. Bizzetto R, Bonfim C, Rocha V, et al. Outcomes after related and unrelated umbilical cord blood transplantation for hereditary bone marrow failure syndromes other than Fanconi anemia. Haematologica. 2011;96(1):134-141.


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