Cordsavings SA    Route de l'Ile-au-Bois 1A    CH-1820 Monthey

FAQ - Questions Parents have about cord blood stem cells banking

Is umbilical cord blood collection dangerous for my baby and me ?

No, there is no risk for the mother or the child in umbilical cord blood collection at birth. It is completely painless and safe for the mother and the child :

  •  Because the blood is collected after delivery and after the cord is cut.
  •       There is no blood loss for the baby because the procedure for "cutting the cord" doesn't change in any way. It is done at the best moment for the newborn by the midwife or gynaecologist.
  •           The quantity collected is what remains in the cord and placenta (approximately 100 ml) after separating the child from the mother and cutting the cord, which is normally thrown out as operating room waste after delivery.

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Precisely how and when is cord blood collection carried out ?

After birth, the midwife or gynaecologist stops blood circulation in the cord by placing 2 clamps a few centimetres apart. The cord (which contains 3 blood vessels) is cut between these 2 clamps. This separates the child from the mother. One clamp remains on the cord on the baby's side and the other remains on the cord on the side of the placenta and is removed with the placenta during delivery. A venipuncture is then carried out on the cord on the placenta side and the residual cord and placenta blood is collected by gravity in a pouch.

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If my baby is born by caesarean section is cord blood collection possible ?

Yes. Umbilical cord blood collection can be carried out either after normal delivery or after caesarean section.

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Is cord blood collection still possible if I have a premature delivery ?

Yes, as of the 34th week of pregnancy. But regardless of the situation, collection is always only carried out on evaluation by the practitioner.

 

What are "Stem Cells" ?

There are different types of stem cells. Haematopoietic stem cells are adult blood stem cells. When the body needs to renew red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, which are the cellular components of blood, stem cells multiply and transform into one of these specific elements.

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Can I preserve cord tissue at CordSavings ?

Yes, CordSavings provides the possibility to preserve cord tissue which is well known for its richness in a very promising category of stem cells (mesenchymatous cells), but present in low quantities in cord blood. In this regard, CordSavings proposes maximum security that is unequalled in Europe for the most anxious parents: CordSavings carefully preserves the cord blood and tissue in two different places and on two highly specialised sites. Therefore, for maximum security, cord blood is preserved in Switzerland and cord tissue several hundred kilometres away. Moreover, for the preservation site of cord tissue, parents have the choice between two accredited sites: one located in Germany and the other close to Barcelona in Catalonia (northern Spain).

 

Which diseases can be cured by transfusions of haematopoietic stem cells ?

A haematopoietic stem cell transplant is often the last chance for patients suffering from serious haematopoietic system diseases.

 

Here is a list (non-exhaustive) of diseases for which a blood stem cell transplant can be indicated:

  • Acute (AML) or chronic (CML) myeloid leukaemia
  • Acute (ALL) or chronic (CLL) lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Myelodysplasic syndrome (MDS)
  • Hodgkin's (HL) or non-Hodgkin's (NHL) lymphoma
  • Plasmocytoma / Multiple myeloma
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Osteomyelofibrosis
  • Severe aplastic anaemia
  • Sickle-cell anaemia
  • Fanconi's anaemia
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH)
  • Thalassemia major
  • Primary and acquired immunodeficiency (e.g. severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID))

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How is the CordSavings Business model different ?

Our mission is to open new pathways that make it possible to ensure solidarity, including inter-generationally, through stem cell-based medicine.

The need for regulation and ethics is more and more essential in a society which finds itself in a situation where it must meet great individual expectations considerably compounded by scientific and economic issues. It is no longer possible to hope to finance all this only by taxes or spontaneous generosity. CordSavings implemented a finely structured solution dedicated to this over the long term.

What happens if CordSavings closes? What will happen to my stem cells ?

In compliance with the applicable Swiss regulations, CordSavings is committed to implementing a BCP (Business Continuity Plan). This mechanism is aimed at offering everyone a perfect guarantee of the lasting quality of cord blood, both biologically and financially. In addition, CordSavings has insured all the cryopreserved samples for a total cover of CHF 8,000 - per sample with the Allianz Group.

What does "ethics and solidarity" mean in relation to a Biobank ?

CordSavings has a unique positioning, because it is the first and only Swiss dual-purpose Biobank which offers future parents the choice between private preservation and donation. A future mother is therefore free to choose a collection for the benefit of her own descendants or to donate her cord blood to the community.

 

You are a public and private umbilical cord blood bank in Switzerland, will my baby's cord blood be divided in two ?

No, not at all, the sample is never divided. Preservation is either autologous (private), or allogenic (public) according to the future parents' choice. They are two different approaches.

Private Biobank - Autologous

My gynaecologist is against cord blood preservation. What can I do ?

Let your gynaecologist know that you find this surprising.

Especially since on their website, the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health (SFOPH) informs the public that parents have the possibility to consult a private bank to store stem cell units extracted from umbilical cord blood, for use in the event that their child contracts a disease later in life.

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Do you require that serological tests are repeated on the mother a few months after birth like some of your competitors ?

No. At CordSavings you benefit from the best laboratory services currently available. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to test the mother's blood again 6 months after she gives birth.

 

Public Biobank - Allogenic

Who pays for the cord blood donation ?

Preservation fees and the collection of allogenic donations are entirely covered by the system, notably in Switzerland by the association Cordons pour Demain.

Where is the pouch of cord blood stem cells registered?

The pouch of stem cells that is eligible for allogenic donation is recorded in the Swiss Cord Blood Units register managed by Swiss Blood Stem Cells under the aegis of the Red Cross mandated by the SFOP (Swiss Federal Office for Public Health).

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Who benefits from my donation ?

If the extracted haematopoietic stem cells meet the standards required by the Swiss Cord Blood Units register, a sick person (child of adult) for whom a haematopoietic stem cell transplant is vital, will benefit from your donation.

What are the criteria for donation cord blood ?

To donate cord blood, the person must first of all:

•    Be in good health and be pregnant with only one child
•    Have good knowledge of the family health history
•    Be 18 years or over a the time of delivery
If these first criteria are filled, the future mother should complete a family medical history. It is on this basis that the capacity for donation is verified.

 

Contact us

CORDSAVINGS SA
Route de l'Ile-au-Bois 1A
CH-1870 Monthey
T : +41 24 471 40 00 
F : +41 24 471 91 40
info@cordsavings.ch