What is stell cem storage?
Cord blood salvage (CBS) also known as cord blood collection (CBC) is the practice of collecting stem cells from the foetal blood within the umbilical cord and placenta. The umbilical cord and placenta are the richest source of stem cells that the baby will ever have, but there is a very short window of opportunity for the collection of the cells.
In the past the remnants of the third stage, the placenta and cord, have been seen as medical waste. In general, it has been left with the hospital to be disposed of, with only a small percentage of women taking the placenta home, encapsulating it or even making it into a smoothie or pâté.
In times gone by, the hospital have passed the tissue to cosmetic companies to use the hormones within them to create cosmetics. But with the rise of blood borne viruses this has put paid to this practice.
There are a few companies that provide the service for collection and storage of foetal stem cells. They can be found online, through pregnancy magazines or leaflets provided by your midwife.
Stem cells are used in the treatment of:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Auto immune disease
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Macular degeneration
Usually, the company will provide you with a dedicated or named phlebotomist (someone who takes blood). Most companies provide a personalised collection kit, dependent upon what type of collection that is required. On the day of labour and delivery you would contact the phlebotomist, and they would keep in close contact with you throughout the labour and attend as close to birth as possible.
Different providers have different rules regarding DCC. Some encourage it and profess that the collection will not be affected by this, others however may request that DCC is limited to 1-2 minutes to ensure a good collection of blood.
As soon as the placenta is delivered, it would be passed to the phlebotomist who will have set up an area for the collection. The placenta and cord is cleaned with chloroseptic wipe and a needle is inserted into the cord. This procedure is very similar to when an adult gives blood as the needle is connected directly to the collection bag to reduce the risk of contamination.
The placenta is massaged and kept warm to help with ‘milking’ the cord to gain as much blood as possible. Gaining as much blood as possible gives a better chance of a substantial amount of stem cells. Although this doesn’t guarantee a greater amount of the cells.
In some cases, pieces of the cord are collected too as stem cells can be collected from this tissue also.
Once this is done, it is packaged safely into sterile containers then into cool-box type packaging. There are several pieces of paperwork to complete as this is a blood product that needs to be traceable and official consent for the procedure, collection, and transport.
Finally, it’s necessary to collect blood from the mother. This can be done up to seven days after birth but is usually done on the day.
If a prior arrangement has not been made with a company and you make the decision to have SCS/SCC, then it can be arranged for a phlebotomist to bring a generic collection box to the hospital at the time of birth and a collection done ad-hoc. Payment is usually taken in advance.
The collection is sent to the laboratory of the company involved where it is processed and checked for contamination, viability, infection, and volume of stem cells. In some circumstances, the collection may also be separated into several samples and can be stored across different sites to ensure it’s available when needed.
Stem cells cannot be stored in the case of contamination, infection, or miniscule sample.