Cord Blood

What is Cord Blood?

Cord blood, blood that remains in the umbilical cord after birth, contains stem cells that can become red or white blood cells, platelets, muscle, nerve, bone or an organ, such as the heart or liver. A baby’s cord blood is considered to be a “lifeline worth preserving.” It contains millions of stem cells, building blocks that have the potential to save a life.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are referred to as the “building blocks of life” because they can become virtually any cell, tissue or organ in the body.

Adult stem cells are found in many places, including:

  • Bone marrow
  • Circulating blood
  • Umbilical cord blood

As a rich source of stem cells, umbilical cord blood offers an option for future health issues that would benefit from stem cell transplant.

During stem cell transplant, a common treatment for certain cancers, transplanted stem cells regenerate into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, which help restore a healthy blood and immune system in those fighting diseases.

It is less expensive to harvest umbilical cord blood for stem cells than other procedures, such as bone marrow retrieval. Collecting cord blood for storage is simple and painless, for both mother and child, and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Cord Blood and Tissue Storage
Cord Blood and Tissue Storage
Cord Blood and Tissue Storage
Cord Blood and Tissue Storage

Benefits of Cord Blood

As many as 1 in 200 people may need a stem cell transplant in their lifetime.

Many families are storing their baby’s cord blood stem cells for future use. By saving cord blood stem cells immediately after birth, it can become a valuable resource for families.

Collection
Cord blood is easier to collect than bone marrow. When privately banked, it is immediately accessible by your family, an important consideration when time is of the essence.2

Treatment
Cord blood has the ability to treat more than 80 diseases including the following:

  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders
  • Marrow Failure Syndromes
  • Blood Disorders
  • Inherited Platelet Abnormalities
  • Histiocytic Disorders
  • Inherited Metabolic Disorders
  • Immune Deficiences

View a detailed list of diseases treated.

Protection
Cord blood can help protect an entire family since cord blood stem cells can protect a baby, as well as other family members.

Cord blood stem cells may be stored indefinitely when frozen in liquid nitrogen – a very cold but non-toxic substance. We utilize the latest technology and recommended procedures to cryopreserve cells and tissue – making them readily available for use when needed.

2Broxmeyer, H.E., Ed. (2011). Cord Blood: Biology, Transplantation, Banking and Regulation. Bethesda, MD, AAPP Press.

How it Works

Enroll
If you are interested in enrolling with Xytex, call 877-505-4346. Once enrolled, you will receive a Cord Blood Collection Kit, complete with Client and Caregiver Instructions. Rest assure that we will remain in touch with you throughout the entire process.

When the big day arrives, remember to bring your Cord Blood Collection Kit with you to the hospital.

Collection Process
Collection is simple and painless, for both mother and child, and only takes a few minutes to complete. After your baby is born, your physician will clamp and cut the umbilical cord. After opening the Cord Blood Collection Kit, your physician will then insert a needle into the umbilical cord vein. Using gravity, the cord blood will flow into a sterile, FDA approved Pall medical bag. Total collection time is about 3-5 minutes and can be done in the case of either natural birth or Caesarean, and even if the placenta delivers.

Following instructions included in the kit, your physician will seal and pack the collected cord blood, complete the cord blood collection worksheet and enclose the mother’s blood samples for testing.

After Collection
Upon receiving the collected sample from your physician, the cord blood unit should be returned to Xytex for expedited processing. The kit containing the collected cord blood, mother’s blood samples and the completed cord blood collection worksheet can be safely kept and transported at room temperature; there is no need to use dry ice or other coolants.

Once you contact us, we will arrange for pick up and delivery to our lab. All you have to do is enjoy your sweet baby!

Shipping is handled by either a courier or commercial shipper, and each collection kit includes the appropriate shipping forms. The quality of the product may be compromised if excessive delays are encountered.

Processing & Storage
We process each sample separately and employ manual processing procedures that use minimal instrumentation to help reduce risk of contamination.

The volume of cord blood collected is checked, the cord blood unit is tested for bacterial and fungal contamination, and the maternal blood sample is tested for potential infectious diseases.

The processed cord blood stem cell unit is stored in a compartmented bag with three small testing sections, which can be removed, thawed and tested if the unit is being considered for transplant. The bag is stored in a dedicated freezer for cord blood stem cell units. Samples are stored in the vapor phase above liquid nitrogen, which prevents any potential transmission of disease from one sample to another.

We will notify you as soon as your baby’s cord blood unit is processed. Approximately 4-6 weeks after processing, you will receive a final report and a laboratory results summary, with a medical terminology page. This report will include a results page of cord blood processing, fungal and bacterial cultures on the cord blood unit, and maternal sample testing results. Please keep these results for your records.

Pricing

Xytex offers a range of payment options for Cord Blood storage. Fees below apply to single births. Discounted pricing is available for multiple births and recipients of Xytex donor sperm.

Please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Single Payment Option

$1675

Includes the following:

  • Cord Blood enrollment
  • Cord Blood processing
  • First year of Cord Blood storage

Two Payment Option

$750

Includes the following:

  • $175 due at enrollment
  • Two payments of $750*
  • Cord Blood processing
  • First year of Cord Blood storage

Six Payment Option

$250

Includes the following:

  • $175 due at enrollment
  • Six payments of $250*
  • Cord Blood processing
  • First year of Cord Blood storage
To enroll, call 1-877-505-4346.

Above pricing includes the first year of storage. Subsequent years are $150 and due prior to child’s birthday.

*Full payment in due 30 days prior to baby’s due date.

Other finance options are offered through a third-party credit vendor, subject to credit approval. Visit carecredit.com to apply.

Finance Options

With a minimum order of $300, you can take advantage of six months interest-free. For orders of $1000 or more, you may be eligible for an extended payment plan, with monthly payments as low as $41 a month.
carecredit-apply

Our CareCredit plan avoids annual fees and high interest rates, which can be incurred with credit cards.

To find out more about CareCredit, call 1-877-505-4346 or apply online:

1. Apply for an account and receive approval.
2. Select a payment plan.*
3. When you place your order, provide us with your CareCredit account number.

*Please note that we offer CareCredit financing options for 6, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. You will also see options for 12 and 18 months on the CareCredit application. We do not offer 12 or 18 month options. Please do not select 12 or 18 months.

Cord Trust Program

The Cord Trust Program provides FREE cord blood banking to families who need it the most! When a child is diagnosed with a disease that is treated with cord blood stem cells and a family does not have the financial means to store the cord blood, we will cover all cord blood banking related costs.

What’s Covered

  • Cord blood enrollment
  • Cord blood processing
  • Transportation of collected blood from hospital to lab
  • Transportation to transplant facility within the continental U.S. (standard delivery fees)
  • Maternal blood work and cord blood fungal/sterility testing
  • Up to 10 years of storage

What’s Not Covered

  • Costs related to the transplant
  • Transportation to transplant facility outside the continental U.S.
  • Any other costs not related to cord blood enrollment, processing or storage

Families must qualify to participate. Xytex will select participants based upon the following

  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • Families must have a child diagnosed with a disease where cord blood stem cells are a standard treatment, or an ultrasound abnormality in utero resulting in a diagnosis where cord blood stem cells are a standard treatment
  • The transplant recipient must be a first or second degree relative
  • The family must be referred by an oncologist or other specialist who agrees that cord blood stem cells can be used as a standard treatment

We retain the right of final approval for all participants in the Xytex Cord Trust Program.

For more information, please call 877-505-4346.

FAQs

Cord Blood Stem Cells

What is Cord Blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord and in the placenta following delivery. At Xytex we consider your baby’s umbilical cord blood to be “a lifeline worth preserving” – not something to be discarded. Cord blood contains millions of stem cells, building blocks that have the potential to save a life in the future.

Why are stem cells so important?
Adult stem cells are found in many places, including bone marrow, circulating blood and umbilical cord blood. As a rich source of stem cells, umbilical cord blood offers families a “hedge” in the event of a future health issue that would benefit from a stem cell transplant. When transplanted, stem cells regenerate into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, and help restore a healthy blood and immune system in those fighting diseases such as cancer or genetic disorders. As the “cornerstone” of blood, organ tissue and the immune system, stem cells can change into other types of cells, including muscle, nerve, bone and organs like the heart and liver. Best of all, it is less expensive to harvest umbilical cord blood for stem cells than other procedures such as bone marrow retrieval – and it is painless for the donor baby. Remember, unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, including those from cord blood, are free from controversy and ethical issues.

If my child were to develop a disease such as leukemia, would it be possible to transplant his own stem cells?
Medical research reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown that using autologous stem cells (one’s own stem cells) in a transplant to treat acute leukemia are just as successful as allogeneic sibling transplants. A stem cell transplant is often necessary to replace the healthy cells in the bone marrow that are destroyed by radiation and/or chemotherapy in treating cancers, such as leukemia. The stem cells that are transplanted will regenerate and produce new stem cells in the bone marrow to help keep the blood and immune system healthy.

What are the benefits of cord blood versus bone marrow?
Cord blood stem cells will always be a perfect match for your child. But because these stem cells are less mature than bone marrow stem cells, there is less need for a perfect match for siblings and other relatives. In fact, according to recent studies, using cord blood as an alternative to bone marrow lowers the risk of graft versus host disease, or transplant rejection. Cord blood is also easier to collect than bone marrow and, when privately banked, is immediately accessible by your family, an important consideration when time is of the essence.

When was cord blood first used for a stem cell transplant?
In 1988 in France, a patient received umbilical cord blood stem cells for a transplant to treat Fanconi anemia. In the 20 years since then, thousands of successful transplants have been done using cord blood as a substitute for bone marrow.

Banking Cord Blood

What is a cord blood bank?
There are two types of cord blood banks: private and public. Xytex is a private or “family” cord blood bank, which means that you and your family have exclusive access to your baby’s cord blood in the event of a future medical need. While your baby’s own (autologous) stem cells would be a perfect match should the donor child ever need them, there is also a higher chance of a good match within the family because HLA antigens (Human Leukocyte Antigens) are inherited genetically. HLA antigens must match between patient and donor for transplants. This is one of the biggest pros for private, family cord blood banking – the better than one-in-four chance for a sibling stem cell transplant match. When they are publicly donated, cord blood stem cells will be made available to anyone with a medical need who could benefit from a stem cell transplant. Once a child’s cord blood has been donated to a public bank, families may not be able to retrieve the donated sample should they require it for a future need.

What happens with umbilical cord blood that is not stored publicly or privately?
Unfortunately, cord blood that is not collected after birth is usually discarded, thereby losing the only opportunity to save and store valuable cord blood stem cells.

Why should I collect and store my baby’s cord blood?
While saving cord blood is a personal decision that is different for every family, more and more parents are choosing to bank their baby’s cord blood not only for current proven applications but for the hope it holds in the future for a growing list of medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Parents want the comfort and security of knowing that, if the need ever arises, their baby’s cord blood stem cells are readily available. Banking a baby’s cord blood is particularly important if a family has a history of cancer or genetic disease, or another child with cancer or genetic disease. Cord blood storage may also offer the best opportunity for a perfect match to a child with only one genetically related parent (via surrogacy or reproductive tissue donation, i.e., sperm or egg donor) or if a parent is adopted.

What is the very latest week of my pregnancy that I can decide to bank?
Ideally, you should finalize your plans concerning cord blood storage by the beginning of your third trimester. But even if you decide to make a last-minute decision, we will work with you to facilitate the shipment of your cord blood collection kit in time for your baby’s delivery. You will also want to discuss your plans with your physician or midwife as soon as you make your decision.

Will the hospital where I deliver charge extra if I choose to bank my baby’s cord blood?
Some physicians will collect cord blood as a free service for their patients, while others charge a fee. Make sure to discuss this ahead of time with your physician so you are fully aware of any possible charges.

I’m having twins, so should I bank the cord blood of both babies?
Even though the chances are very good that one sibling’s cord blood would be an acceptable match for the other, it is still advantageous to bank each child’s umbilical cord blood. Because we believe strongly in taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Xytex offers special pricing for multiple births. Please discuss this option with your client service representative when you call us.

Collection And Processing

How is the cord blood collected?
A physician or midwife inserts a needle into the blood vessel in the umbilical cord. Using gravity, the cord blood flows into a special collection bag approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This special bag contains materials that prevent the blood from clotting. The kit containing the bag will be picked up by our courier and transferred to Xytex Cord Blood Bank for testing, processing and cryopreservation.

Are there any risks involved with umbilical cord blood collection?
Collection does not interfere with the birth process and does not involve any pain or danger to mother or baby. However, if the delivery becomes complicated, attention is focused on mother and child. Therefore, in these instances, cord blood may or may not be collected.

What if my physician or midwife has never collected cord blood before?
Cord blood collection is a very simple process using techniques that are quite familiar to medical professionals. Should your doctor have any questions, Xytex Cord Blood Bank is available for support; in addition, Client and Caregiver Instructions are also included in your collection kit.

What is the final step of the collection process?

  • Upon receiving the collected sample from your caregiver, all efforts should be made to return the cord blood unit to Xytex for expedited processing. You or someone you designate is responsible for contacting Xytex Cord Blood Bank after collection to arrange pickup of the kit. The quality of the product may be compromised if excessive delays are encountered.
  • The kit containing the collected cord blood, your blood samples and the completed cord blood collection worksheet can be kept and transported at room temperature; there is no need to use dry ice or other coolants.
  • Shipping is handled by either a courier or commercial shipper, and each collection kit includes the appropriate shipping forms. Simply call Xytex Cord Blood Bank to arrange for pickup and delivery to our lab.

Storage And Future Use

What is the likelihood that my family will need to use my baby’s stored cord blood?
Data published in Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation indicate that as many as 1 in 200 people in the U.S. will need a stem cell transplant in their lifetime. Because cord blood stem cells have a higher likelihood of matching other family members (compared with other stem cell sources like bone marrow), by banking your baby’s cord blood, you are making an investment for your entire family.

How long can I store my child’s cord blood?
When stored cryogenically within liquid nitrogen containers, cord blood stem cells may be stored indefinitely. Current scientific data has reported viable transplants using cord blood stem cells stored for up to 15 years. However, cord blood research only dates back to the 1970s, so the maximum years of storage for stem cells have not yet been determined. Theoretically, when properly stored, cord blood stem cells have no expiration date.

Should a natural disaster strike, how is my baby’s cord blood protected?
Xytex Cord Blood Bank’s storage facilities are securely located within our corporate offices in Augusta, Ga. Our constant-temperature liquid nitrogen containers are monitored daily by our staff and continuously through alarm sensors. In addition, we have an independent backup power generator. It is important to note that even in the event of a power failure, our tanks continue to maintain constant, sub-zero temperatures, and may be manually monitored for as long as necessary.

Should I need to use my baby’s cord blood, how would it be retrieved?
Hopefully, the need never arises, but if it should, the transplanting physician would contact a client representative at Xytex Cord Blood Bank to make arrangements for necessary testing, release and transfer of your banked cord blood stem cells to a designated hospital. You and your medical team would be able to access your child’s cord blood in a timely manner from anywhere in the United States.

Questions?

Drop us a line and let us know how we can help with your family’s storage needs!