FAQ's

What can stem cells be used for?

Stem cells “know” how to find injured cells in the body and start a healing process. In other words, they may help the body help itself.

Today, cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 35,000 transplants worldwide to regenerate healthy blood and immune systems, like in a bone marrow transplant.

Stem cells have successfully treated Cerebral Palsy, Leukaemia, stroke, sickle cell anaemia and much more.

 

To read more about treatments click here.

How long can cord blood/tissue stem cells be stored for?

In theory, when cryopreserved cord blood can last for many decades. As cord blood banking is 27 years young, data on the use of cord blood in transfusions are limited, but from what research on thawed cord blood units has shown, the length of cryopreservation does not affect the quality and viability of a cord blood collection.

If I bank for one child, do I have to bank for additional children/siblings?

All the reasons that you banked for the first child are still valid for additional children.

1.) If you want the baby to have the option of using his/her own cells, then you need to bank them.

2.) If you are banking to cover siblings, then the ability to use cord blood from one child for another depends on whether they have matching HLA type. Two full siblings have a 25% chance of being a perfect match, a 50% chance of being a half match, and a 25% chance of not matching at all.

For a cord blood transplant, donor and patient must match at least 4 out of 6 HLA types. The more siblings with banked cord blood, the more chance that they cover each other for possible transplants or other therapies for which sibling stem cells are accepted.

What is an HLA test and how is it used?

The term “HLA” is short for Human Leukocyte Antigens, which are proteins in the immune system that determine whether a patient will react against a donor transplant or if the donor transplant cells will react against the donor.

Two full siblings have a 25% chance of being a perfect match, a 50% chance of being a half match, and a 25% chance of not matching at all.

For a cord blood transplant, donor and patient must match at least 4 out of 6 HLA types. The more siblings with banked cord blood, the more chance that they cover each other for possible transplants or other therapies for which sibling stem cells are accepted.

How much blood and stem cells does an umbilical cord typically contain?

The median size of cord blood collections in family banks is 60mL or 2 ounces.

The number of Total Nucleated Cells (TNCs)  and CD34 positive stem cells can vary from cord to cord regardless of volume but generally larger volumes contain more TNCs and CD34 positive cells.

Blueprint will always inform you about the volume of your sample and the cell counts.

Can I donate my umbilical cord blood and stem cells?

Blueprint Biobank offer a fully private storage option for the long term storage of cord blood and tissue. This service is a paid service and the samples are  solely stored for your own private use.

If you wish to inquire more about cord blood and tissue donation then please visit the NHS Blood Bank or the Anthony Nolan Trust:

http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/cord-blood-bank/

https://www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/donate-your-umbilical-cord-blood

How will stem cells be used in the future?

Stem cells are the hottest topic in medicine for a reason. They have the limitless potential of treating diseases previously thought untreatable.

In the near future it is likely that stem cell treatments will provide cures for common and often life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Within your child’s lifetime their cord blood may even be used to repair spinal damage, print kidneys or grow a new heart.

Who collects the samples?

The collection must be performed by a trained and licensed healthcare professional. This could be a private obstetrician or midwife or a phlebotomist.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) requires the person who performs the collection to be appropriately trained in our collection process and hold a valid Third-Party Agreement to do so.

We can arrange for a fully trained and qualified medical professional to carry out the collection at your birth. Simply tick the option during the checkout process.

Does my hospital allow me to have stem cells collected?

The majority of maternity hospitals allow us to perform this service for you. If you would like to discuss your individual hospital with us then please contact us by phone or via our ‘contact us’ page.

Can I still delay the clamping of the cord?

Yes, it is possible to delay cord clamping and collect vital stem cells to bank for your child’s future.

At Blueprint Biobank we collect as much blood as we can that is left in the cord and this amount varies considerably.

Can I wait for the placenta to deliver naturally?

You can either wait for the placenta to deliver naturally or the delivery may be induced via an injection. Either method does not prevent us from collecting samples for you.

Does it matter if the birth is caesarean section or natural delivery?

No. If you have a Caesarean the collection can take place after the delivery of the placenta, as it would with a natural birth. Either birthing scenario is fine for the collection of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells.

Can I still have my stem cells collected if I have a home birth?

Yes, we have a fully trained team of phlebotomists who are able to visit your home to collect the sample during a home birth. They will discuss all of your options with you and make sure that they have a safe and sterile area to collect your samples.

Does cord blood and tissue collection hurt?

No. Cord blood and tissue collection is painless, convenient and safe for both mother and newborn.

The cord blood and tissue are collected after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. The samples collected are normally discarded after birth as medical waste.

What happens if Blueprint Biobank goes out of business?

Establishments licensed by the HTA are legally required to ensure that in the event of activities ceasing, any tissues/cells and records are transferred to another suitably licensed establishment and we are compliant with this requirement.

How do I pay for storing stem cells?

To begin your journey with us simply click here or the Start Now button in our navigation menu.

We will initially charge a set up fee and only charge you the remaining amount once your sample is safely stored away in our storage facility.

Do you have payment plans?

Yes. At the moment we offer payment plans for 3, 6, and 12 months.

How does the pricing work?

Today you pay just the £160 set up fee. This covers the cost of your personal stem cell collection kit, account set up and arranged courier to pick up the stem cell sample after birth.

It is required that collection is done by a fully trained and qualified medical professional, such as your doctor or midwife. However, if they’re unable to perform the collection we provide the option of using our partner phlebotomists for £300. Just tick the option during the Checkout process.

Only after a successful collection will we charge you for the remaining cost of the service. This amount depends on whether you’re paying in full or in instalments. This cost covers the processing of the sample by our highly skilled scientists in our lab.

We charge a £50 per year storage fee for cord blood banking and £100 per year for both cord blood & cord tissue together. Although the first year is on us, it’s FREE!

You will be charged this storage fee every year until the end of your contract. At the end of your contract we will then contact you to ask whether you’d like to continue on a new plan or rolling contract.

Do you offer any special pricing or discounts?

Yes! We have a referall program coming soon.

You will receive £100 for recommending a friend, and that friend will get 10% off their service. We also have discount schemes for repeat customers, families with twins.

What if I move to another country?

Wherever you live in the world, you can rest assured that your stem cells will remain safely stored in our storage facility. If you do move, please remember to let us know your new address and contact information so we can keep our records up to date.

In the event of you needing your sample for treatment we can arrange for its release and transportation.

Who controls the use of the preserved cord blood and tissue stem cells?

The mother, as the child’s guardian, has control over the stem cells, until the child is of legal age. Stem cells will not be released by Biovault without the mother’s consent or the child’s consent, once they reach legal age.

Why is the maximum storage period only 25 years?

Our storage terms are based on the most current clinical evidence available and as this scientific evidence changes we will change our terms to match this appropriately.

Currently the longest cells of this type have been stored for is around 28 years.

Whether you choose to store your child’s cord blood and tissue cells for 10 or 25 years, we will contact you before your contract with us expires to discuss your options and a new contract if you wish to continue to store.