What is the procedure to store stem cells?

Your decision to store your baby’s stem cells is a gift with potentially lifesaving consequences.

Because this precious gift can only be given once, please read these instructions carefully to ensure an efficient and seamless collection process.

Contact the Cryo-Save and Salveo InfoHub on +27 87 8080 170 for assistance or more information.

BEFORE BIRTH

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STEP 1: THE KIT

We will deliver the collection kit to your home or office.
Please do not break the collection kit’s seal.
Keep the collection kit with your hospital bag at a temperature of between 15–25°C.

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STEP 2: SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

Discuss the cord blood collection process with your healthcare professional, and especially the option to combine in- and ex-utero collection methods.

To process enough of your baby’s stem cells successfully, we require a minimum of 100ml of cord blood. If the volume is less than this, there is a chance that there may not be enough stem cells to preserve.

Please discuss the Adequate Collection brochure (attached) with him/her.

ON THE DAY OF BIRTH

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STEP 1

On the day of birth, remember to take your collection kit with you for the delivery.
The healthcare professional will verify the integrity of the contents

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STEP 2

Once your baby has been delivered, the healthcare professional will clamp the umbilical cord. The cord will be cut and your baby taken for medical care.

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STEP 3

While your baby is receiving medical care, the healthcare professional will draw blood from the clamped cord into a special collection bag. He or she will cut the cord tissue and place it into a container with saline solution.
Make sure that both the cord blood bag and cord tissue container are labelled and packed.

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STEP 4

  • The Maternal Medical history form (page 1) must be completed and signed by both parents.
  • The labour and delivery details (on the flipside of the Maternal Medical history form) must be completed and signed by the healthcare professional who performed the collection.
  • Place this form, which is required by the laboratory, back into to kit.
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STEP 5

Contact us within 1 – 2 hours after the birth to arrange the collection of the kit.
Office hours: Please phone us +27 87 8080 170
After hours and weekends:Please SMS us +27 82 576 2795
We need the following information:

  • Mother’s name in full,
  • Baby’s name and gender,
  • Hospital name and room number,
  • Time of birth.
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STEP 6

To arrange the necessary blood tests for maternal infectious diseases, please:

  1. Hand the Ampath form found inside the kit to the nurse and request the blood collection.
  2. Hand the tubes inside the kit to the healthcare professional performing the blood
    collection.

Place the blood tubes inside the collection kit before the courier arrives.

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STEP 7

The courier service will collect the kit within 24 hours from the hospital/birthing centre’s room.
The kit will be delivered to the Cryo-Save Laboratory, where the samples will be evaluated, processed and stored if the collection was successful.
We will inform you as soon as your kit has arrived in the laboratory.

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STEP 8

The cord blood and tissue stem cells are stored in a vapour phase liquid nitrogen storage tank, at temperatures between -196°C to -150°C inside the secured storage facility.

Information: Infectious Diseases

To assess your baby’s stem cells for infectious diseases, maternal blood will be tested for the following:

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another bodily fluid from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact, by sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. The risk of a chronic infection is related to the age of a person approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected, compared with 2% – 6% of adults. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, like cirrhosis or liver cancer. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. The disease can also be transmitted from mother to baby at birth. For some, hepatitis C is a short-term illness but for 70%–85% of people who become infected with, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death. The majority of infected people might not be aware of their infection because they are not clinically ill. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C and the best way to prevent infection is to avoid behaviours that can spread the disease, especially needle sharing.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease. It’s most transmitted through unsafe sexual behaviour. It can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It’s important to get tested and treated as soon as possible if you think you might have syphilis, as it can cause serious problems if it’s left untreated. It can usually be cured with
a short course of antibiotics.

Cytomegalovirus (pronounced sy-toe-MEG-a-low-vyrus), or CMV, is a common virus that infects people of all ages. Over half of adults by age 40 have been infected with CMV and once infected it can reactivate. Most people infected with CMV show no signs or symptoms. However, CMV infection can cause serious health problems for people with weakened immune systems, and babies infected before birth (congenital CMV).

Reference:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/ ▪ http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/ ▪ http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Syphilis/Pages/Introduction.aspx