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5 Things Parents Should Know About Cord Blood Banking

Cord Blood Banking - pregnant

Do you know that your new born baby’s cord blood is a life-saving source to treat blood-related diseases? That is why Professor Dr Menaka Hariharan, Medical Director of StemLife Berhad urged parents to store their new born baby’s cord blood.

Cord blood Banking - En Zahrein Redza, Chief Operating Officer StemLife

En Zahrein Redza, Chief Operating Officer StemLife

Cord Blood Banking - Dr Menaka Hariharan

Dr. Menaka Hariharan

“Cord blood contains stem cells that are a 100 percent biological match to the new born, and can be used to help treat diseases such as Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Thalassaemia, certain metabolic and immune system disorders,” she explained during an exclusive visit to StemLife laboratories for the media.

By storing both cord blood and cord lining, recovery of three types of stem cells is possible thus increasing one’s option for more possible therapeutic applications in the future, she said.

Unfortunately, awareness is still low. According to Encik Zahrein Redza, Chief Operating Officer of StemLife Berhad, based on their internal analysis, only 14% of the parents out of the 500,000 deliveries in Malaysia for the year 2015, saved their babies’ cord blood.

5 Things Parents Should Know About Cord Blood Banking

Cord Blood Banking

Here are five more things mothers should know about cord blood banking:

1. It saves more than the baby’s life – There’s a 60% match chance with family members. This means family members can be treated for blood-related diseases using the baby’s cord blood.

2. There’s only one opportunity to harvest it – “The process of extracting the cord blood is very safe. It takes only 5 to 10 minutes from the time the baby is born. And this is the only period of opportunity to save it. As one can save it only during child birth, it is considered once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Dr Menaka.

3. It can be used to treat 80 diseases and counting – There are many clinical trials around the world going on currently unveiling more benefits of using cord blood for treatments.

4. It costs less than RM1 per day to invest in cord blood banking – At StemLife, the cost is about RM0.80 for up to 21 years to extract, process and store the cord blood.

5. It is currently only available in selected private hospitals in Malaysia. The cord blood extracted at government hospitals will go to public cord blood bank for public use.

5 Steps of the Cord Blood Banking Process

Cord Blood Banking - The Multi-Compartment Cryobag

The Multi-compartment Cryobag

During the laboratory visit, Dr Maneerat, Lab Director of StemLife Berhad gave the media a walkthrough of how the cord blood is extracted, transported and tested. The steps include the following:

Step 1: Doctor cuts the cord. Baby is separated from placenta.

Step 2: Collection bag needle is inserted into the umbilical cord vein.

Step 3: Blood is drained from the cord into collection bag by gravity flow.

Step 4: Once the cord blood is collected, the collection bag will be placed in a specially designed collection kit and transported to the laboratory for processing.

Step 5: Once it arrives at the lab, technologist will perform a series of tests and assess the amount of stem cell collected. Upon completion, the cord blood stem cell will be stored in a FDA-approved multi-compartment Cryobag and cryopreserved for long term at -196 Celsius.

Cord Blood Banking - Inside the StemLife Lab

Inside the StemLife Lab

About StemLife

StemLife is a stem cell bank licensed by the Ministry of Health Malaysia under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (PHFS) Act 1998. Since its establishment in 2001, StemLife has been in the forefront of medical breakthroughs pertaining to cord blood stem cell and cord lining.

The company also provides its clients and/or parents one of the most comprehensive protection possible for their children every step of the way, from cord blood and cord lining collection to testing, processing and storage, ensuring quality as the number one priority.

With 15 years of proven expertise in stem cell banking in Malaysia, StemLife has to date banked in more than 53,000 cord blood stem cells and recorded 15 successful cord blood transplant which involved the treatment for Thalassaemia, Cerebral Palsy, Brain Injury and Leukaemia.

 

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