Saving Lives with Cord Blood Stem Cells

From the very first second you hold your newborn baby in your arms you will know that you’ll do everything you can to protect him from anything that might hurt him! With the world’s technological progress, parents know about their children’s healthcare more than any time before! Thus, you might have heard about the cord blood stem cells that have the power of saving lives! What are these cord blood stem cells? How are they collected? Why are they so important? And many other questions could be asked by parents concerning this subject. Future Health BioBank will provide us with the answers, telling us more about the cord blood stem cells and their importance.

Who is Future Health?
“We were the first family cord blood bank in the UK to receive a full accreditation as a human tissue bank. On April 7th 2006 we received a deemed license from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and on August 18th 2006 we were again, the first private tissue bank to receive a full license from the HTA.”

At Future Health, the collection methodology, the laboratory processes, and the storage facilities are all rigorously inspected and fully approved. The Future Health professionals use the very latest processing and preservation equipment and operate the very highest security and monitoring protocols. Future Health is based in Nottingham UK, where they have their own laboratories that hold over 45,000 samples so far.  And through their worldwide offices and affiliations (they are present in over 40 countries including Lebanon); they bring peace of mind and valued reassurance to parents and healthcare professionals.

What are the cord blood stem cells?
The stem cells are the body’s very early unspecialized “master” cells that have two different characteristics:
-          They can self-renew through cell division for the duration of our life.
-          They can develop into other types of cells and tissues, such as red or white blood cells, nerve cells, brain cells, or even the cells of the heart.

Therefore, they serve as a repair system for the body, continuously replenishing other cells. As for the umbilical cord blood, it is a rich source of stem cells, which makes it a good source of cells for transplantation.

When can stem cells be collected?
Stem cells can be collected from the peripheral blood or the bone marrow at any time. However, the procedure for bone marrow collection can be painful and finding a perfect match isn’t always easy. As for the cord blood stem cells, they can be collected only at birth. Unfortunately, this precious blood is discarded at birth by the hospital at most of the times.

Is it easy to collect umbilical cord blood?
It is not only easy, but also risk-free to both mother and baby! It’s a procedure that’s performed routinely by obstetricians, midwives and nurses in many hospital delivery rooms all over the world, when the newborn is jaundiced, or the mother’s blood group is Rh negative, or simply for blood typing.

How is the collection performed?
Parents will bring with them to the delivery room a kit that contains all necessary equipment for the cord blood collection. This kit contains a purpose-designed cord blood collection bag, enclosed in an individual sterile package, with two needles for ease of collection and to reduce the possibility of contamination. The bag contains the correct amount and type of anticoagulant for cord blood preservation. In addition, the cord blood must be collected using aseptic technique to prevent contamination of the sample.

Cord blood stem cells are collected by taking blood from your baby’s umbilical cord. The blood is then put into a special container and couriered directly to the Future Health laboratories.

Why do parents choose to store their baby’s cord blood?
Parents decide to bank their child’s cord blood for several reasons. The most important one is that they see in the blood stem cells a valuable resource for their baby’s or other biological family members’ future. When parents see and read about cases where cord blood stem cells save lives, they believe that it’s better to have it and maybe not need it, than to need it and not have it!

What conditions are stem cells used to treat?
Numerous cases has shown the feasibility and efficacy of the transplantation of cord stem cells to treat a wide range of disorders, including hematological malignancies, solid tumors, constitutional and acquired bone marrow failure syndromes, haemoglobinopathies, congenital immune deficiencies, and inherited disorders of metabolism. When properly processed and tested, cord blood stem cells may be used by the entire family; they may be used by the child from which they were collected as well as his/her siblings and possibly parents themselves. In fact, all properly accredited cord blood stem cell banks perform full testing of the samples.

What are the services that the Future Health provides aside the stem cells storing?
In addition to collecting and storing your baby’s cord blood stem cells you can also collect and store their cord tissue stem cells that can be divided and changed into particular types of cells, which under controlled conditions can grow into organs, bones, cartilage and tissue. In fact, the cord tissue contains a rich source of stem cells that can be used to regenerate the cardiac muscles, and treat many diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, Paralysis, and others, and it can be also used in plastic surgeries in case of skin burning and injuries.

How the tissue stem cells are collected?
Cord tissue stem cells are also collected immediately after birth, by removing a 15cm piece of the umbilical cord, placing it into a sterile container, and couriered directly to Future Health laboratories for processing and preserving. Like the collection of cord blood, the collection of cord tissue is easy, quick, painless, and totally harmless!

Because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that might save the life of your beloved in the future, contact the Future Health customer service in Lebanon on 04-400458 / 04-400498 or contact them by email on Lebanon@futurehealth.co.uk