Cord Blood Banking - List of FAQs
Adult Stem Cells: Adult stem cells are found in bone marrow (the vehicle carrying these stem cells) and require invasive surgery to acquire. Also, finding a matching donor for a bone marrow transplant via a public bank can be difficult and sometimes impossible.
Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells: Umbilical cord blood offers a perfectly natural, controversy-free method of acquiring stem cells. (The Vatican approves of cord blood banking.) Cord blood stem cells offer many advantages over other stem cells. They are collected in a risk-free, 5-minute procedure at the time of birth that is painless for both mother and baby. Also, stem cells from cord blood are better than stem cells from bone marrow because they are less prone to “graft vs. host disease” (GVHD – an immune system attack by donor cells against the recipient) and other complications relating to the recipient body rejecting foreign cells. Most importantly, banked cord blood is available when you and your family need it most, allowing treatment to begin almost immediately, without time spent searching for a match. Plus, cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for the baby and can potentially be used to treat other family members.
Embryonic Stem Cells: Derived from an embryo (sperm meets the egg) are highly controversial and often in the news and at the heart of many moral and ethical debates.
Cord blood collection is simple and poses no risk to you or your baby. Immediately after your baby’s delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and the baby is separated from the cord. At this point, the needle attached to the collection bag is inserted into the vein in the umbilical cord. The placental blood/umbilical cord blood, drawn by gravity, then flows into the collection bag. The bag comes equipped with an anti-coagulant to keep the blood from clotting before it reaches our laboratory. Unlike traditional bone marrow collection, which usually requires general anesthesia and recovery, the process of collecting cord blood is non-invasive, painless and generally takes just three to five minutes to complete. NECBB will supply you with a cord blood collection kit prior to your baby’s delivery date. You simply bring the kit to the hospital for the physician or midwife to collect the cord blood after you deliver.
The kit, including everything needed to collect the cord blood and prepare it for shipping to our laboratory, is sent to you via Priority Mail. After you sign up with NECBB, you should receive the collection kit within two to three days.
We have always used blood bags for collecting umbilical cord blood, as they’ve been deemed the safest and most effective. Our Baxter collection bags are the same as those used by both The International and American Red Cross. Our average collection amount is 87ml per collection. In more than 7,000 samples surveyed, we experienced less than 1/10th of 1% contamination using the blood bags. We have surveyed nurses and midwives that use our services and the majority (89%) prefers the blood bag to the syringe for ease of use and quickness.
Once the attending physician or midwife has completed the umbilical blood collection, your sample is either picked up by our local courier or by our Worldwide Shipper to be sent to our laboratory in Boston. If your blood is coming from a destination outside our local area, our Worldwide Shipper ships via priority overnight to ensure that your blood arrives within 72 hours of birth. We have entrusted our Worldwide Shipper with our business, and with the shipping of precious cord blood since our company began offering these services. They are the world’s leading shipper of diagnostic specimens.
It’s best to make the decision as early in your pregnancy as possible. Having the collection kit early in the pregnancy can lower your anxiety; in case of early delivery, you’ll be prepared with the kit. But we know that you’re juggling a number of responsibilities before your baby comes, and we are here to help whenever you’re ready. We support the potentially life-saving choice you’re making to bank umbilical cord blood stem cells, and will do anything in our power to make the process as simple and efficient as possible.
We offer detailed instructions on collecting umbilical cord blood without a collection kit. These instructions can be faxed or e-mailed to your delivering doctor, if needed. The blood would have to be collected using the syringe method, with an addition of an anti-coagulant to the blood to keep it from clotting before it reaches our laboratory to be processed. This is not our preferred method of collection, but it will allow for the safe collection and shipping of your baby’s blood to our laboratory to be processed and cryopreserved. The same methods of shipping apply once a suitable container is found to secure the syringe containing the umbilical cord blood.
Our Worldwide Shipper picks up your cord blood kit at the hospital as soon as the blood is collected. The kit is then shipped immediately to our laboratory for processing.
NECBB’s cord blood processing technique includes full cell separation, a method designed to optimize viability and usability of your baby’s stem cells. To shield the stem cells from freezing damage, we use DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide), a cryoprotectant, which is washed out of the stem cells in the thawing and preparation process prior to transplantation. Research has shown that this methodology is the most successful in terms of cell recovery and, ultimately, for transplant results.
Your baby’s cord blood stem cells are stored in a multi-compartment storage bag. We set aside a smaller sample, which can be used for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type matching should the cells be needed for someone other than your baby. (HLA type matching determines whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant.) One-hundred percent of the processed cells are preserved for your family and nothing is withheld for our use, a procedure unique to NECBB. We also set aside three smaller samples, which can be used for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type matching should the cells be needed for someone other than your baby. (HLA type matching determines whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant.) One-hundred percent of the processed cells are preserved for your family and nothing is withheld for our use, a procedure unique to NECBB.
Our storage containers can maintain their internal temperatures within one degree for up to 30 days in case of a power failure. NECBB is further protected from power outages by a redundant, on-site electric generator system. Our facility also includes on-site storage of liquid nitrogen, eliminating the need for costly deliveries and the handling of smaller refill containers, all of which helps us control our expenses, which in turn keeps our service affordable.
All processing and storage is done at our state-of-the-art facility in Newton, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb located near the heart of its famous medical district. Boston is the home to such well-known institutions as Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, New England Medical Center, Tufts Medical School, Boston University Medical School, and Harvard Medical School. At no time in the process is your baby’s cord blood sent out to any third party for processing or storage.
If that is the case, we will notify you, giving you the option to bank those cells, donate them, or discard the cells.
When deciding what to do with your cord blood you have three choices: donate to a public bank, contract with a private bank or discard it as medical waste. A public bank (non-profit) like the American Red Cross takes in donations for use of the greater public. A private bank (for-profit) offers you the opportunity to bank exclusively for you and your family making the stem cells available when you need them most, allowing treatment to begin almost immediately, without time spent searching for a match. Plus, cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for the baby and can potentially be used to treat other family members.
We are a privately held family business. We have been in business since 1982, spanning three generations, providing high-quality cryogenic services to the medical community. We have been successfully processing cord blood for nearly a decade, and plan on doing so for many years to come.
NECBB has been processing and storing umbilical cord blood stem cells since 1995. Our laboratory, New England Cryogenic Center, has been a pioneer in the field of cryogenics since 1982 and of all of the cord blood banks in North America, NECBB is the most experienced in cryopreservation methods.
Driven by innovation and strong ethics, President John Rizza represents the third generation in his family to lead NECBB. Our Medical Director, Hans Klingemann, M.D., Ph.D., has a long history in hematology, transplantation and cell therapy. Their business and medical vision is executed by experienced employees with a wide variety of backgrounds, both medical and non-medical.
We have banked cord blood for more than 25,000 clients to date and we continue to be one of the fastest-growing cord blood banks in the country. In fact, many doctors, nurses and midwives have selected NECBB as their cord blood bank of choice.
Enrolling with NECBB is easy – simply click here to complete our online enrollment form. To enroll by phone just call us at 617-244-3933 or 888-700-2673 (toll-free) and we’ll take you through the entire process. If you would prefer to fax or mail in your order, complete the information request form and we’ll email you a PDF that you can print out, complete, and fax or mail back.
First, rest assured that NECBB does not share your information with any third party, for any reason. We use your information only to gauge how we can most effectively serve you. Our employees sign confidentiality agreements. Along with your insurance company and caregiver, we adhere to strict government regulations that may require us disclosure of certain, limited information under certain circumstances.
Yes, NECBB will accept cord blood units currently stored with other cord blood banking companies. The owner of the cord blood unit is responsible for any fees associated with the transfer and will be billed the annual storage fee of $125.
NECBB is the global leader in cord blood collection with offices in the UK and Mexico and affiliate offices located throughout the world. Our international offices will take care of all the details including providing you with a collection kit to bring to the hospital, sending your physician collection instructions and making arrangements for our international courier to ship your cord blood to our state-of-the-art processing and cryopreservation facility.
Yes, as soon as we’ve received your cord blood sample, we’ll give you a courtesy call to let you know that it’s arrived at our state-of-the-art processing and cryopreservation facility.
The costs for our services are as follows:
Payment is due on or before the anniversary of your storage month. We try to make the process as easy as possible. Generally, we notify you 30 days before the anniversary of your storage date and we attempt to charge the credit card you have on file. If the charge is accepted, a receipt is sent to you for your records. If your credit card is declined, we will send you a notice requesting a new credit card or another form of payment, such as a check or money order.
Yes. Just be sure to contact us in advance each year and we will make your request is fulfilled.
If I Choose the 20-Year Storage Option, and Needed to Use the Blood Before the Time Was Up, Would My Costs Be Reimbursed?
You would be refunded on a pro-rated basis.
Many caregivers charge a fee for the procedure of collecting umbilical cord blood. We suggest that you discuss this procedure with your caregiver prior to enrolling in our service to verify their agreement to perform the collection and determine their policy regarding a collection fee.
NECBB charges you only a $60 withdrawal fee for the costs associated with preparing your sample for shipment. You may be responsible for shipping; however, insurers generally cover that charge.
Our service includes reimbursement of the physician fee up to $125. Because cord blood banking is generally an elective procedure and is not typically covered by insurance, our system is designed to make the payment process as simple as possible. When your patients enroll with us, we send you a form to be completed and faxed back to us, along with a copy of your invoice. Once we receive the completed forms, you will be reimbursed. If you have any questions about the process or forms, please call us at 617-244-3933 or 888-700-2673, or contact us via e-mail at email@example.com.
In cases where providers cover cord blood collection (e.g., in cases where a family history of disease exists), you can bill your patient’s insurance company for the procedure. If you do bill the provider, make sure cord blood collection fees are billed separately from any delivery and maternity care fees.
See why you should save the umbilical cord blood?
Click here to enroll with New England Cord Blood Bank!