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Cord Blood Banking FAQs

Cord Blood Stem Cells

What is cord blood?

Cord blood is the excess blood found in the placenta and umbilical cord after your baby is born. It is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that produce blood tissue in the human body.

If not collected at the time of your baby's birth, this precious resource will be discarded as medical waste. Learn more about cord blood.

What are cord blood stem cells?

Stem cells from cord blood are the "building blocks" of our blood and immune systems. They are capable of self-renewal and regeneration and have the amazing ability to repair and rebuild damaged tissue within the body.

What diseases are treated with cord blood stem cells?

80 diseases and conditions are routinely being treated with cord blood stem cells, including leukemia, lymphoma, various anemias and more.

Current research in regenerative medicine has shown successful results in treating diabetes, cerebral palsy, autism, spinal cord injuries and heart disease.

The potential for future treatments using cord blood stem cells appears to be infinite.

What are the chances of my family ever needing stem cells?

It is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 people in the United States may benefit from stem cell regenerative medicine therapy, including treatments for type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, heart failure, liver damage, Alzheimer’s, and more.1

1 Harris DT. Cord blood stem cells: a review of potential neurological applications. Stem Cell Rev. 2008;4:269-274. Epub August 5, 2008.
Would doctors ever treat my baby using his/her own cord blood?

Yes. Cerebral palsy, autism and many lymphomas, sarcomas and tumors have successfully been treated using a patient's own cord blood stem cells.1

There are, however, some conditions for which doctors will prefer to use stem cells from a related donor such as a sibling or child. As such, it is recommended that you bank cord blood for each of your children.

1 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2005). Cord Blood: Establishing a National Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank Program. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.
Can cord blood stem cells be used to treat adults?

Yes. Scientists have developed a method to expand the number of stem cells within a cord blood unit before infusing them into adult patients.1

Expanded cord blood units result in up to a 164-fold increase in the number of hematopoietic stem cells, making one cord blood unit suitable for transplant in an average size adult.

1 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2010, January 18). First successful use of expanded umbilical- cord blood
units to treat leukemia. Science Daily. Retrieved January 20, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100117150820.htm? utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+ News%29
What is HLA matching?

HLA, or human leukocyte antigens, are the proteins that control tissue compatibility. The closer the match, the less risk of a potentially fatal condition called GVHD, or graft-versus-host disease (also known as "rejection").

There is no risk of GVHD when a child receives his or her own cord blood. Within a family, there is a high probability of cord blood matching a sibling or parent, thereby significantly reducing the risk of GVHD.

Outside of the family, the situation is much different. HLA antigens are highly polymorphic, with hundreds of different HLA antigens found in the human population (roughly 750,000 possible combinations of three HLA antigens alone).1

Your best chance of providing a match for your family is to bank your baby's own cord blood.

1 Beatty, P., & Dahlberg, S. (1988). Probability of finding HLA-matched unrelated marrow donors. Transplantation (4), 714-718.
What is GVHD?

GVHD, or graft-versus-host disease, is the leading cause of death following transplant surgery. Nearly 50% of all patients who develop GVHD will die as a result.1

GVHD occurs when the healthy cells of the donor tissue attack the immunocompromised cells of the recipient.

The risk of GVHD is directly related to tissue compatibility and the biological relationship of the donor to the recipient, which is described in terms of HLA matching.

Siblings and parents of the child that the stem cells came from will have the greatest chance of a perfect or close HLA match. The closer the HLA match, the lower your risk of GVHD.

1 eMedicine. (January 6, 2009). Retrieved April 1, 2010 from Graft Versus Host Disease: Mortality/Morbidity: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/886758-overview.
Is there a greater risk of GVHD with stem cells from bone marrow?

Yes. The risk and severity of GVHD is much higher with stem cells from bone marrow than it is with stem cells derived from cord blood and cord tissue.

In addition, cells from bone marrow are more likely to have been exposed to latent diseases and DNA degradation.

Are embryonic stem cells different than cord blood stem cells?

Yes. Cord blood stem cells are distinctively different from embryonic stem cells.

Cord blood stem cells are collected from the umbilical cord after your baby is born, and if not saved are discarded as medical waste. There are no ethical oppositions to the use of cord blood stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from a process that inhibits the life of the embryo, which make them highly controversial.

Is treatment with cord blood stem cells considered "experimental"?

No. After more than three decades and greater than 40,000 cord blood transplants, the use of cord blood stem cells is considered standard therapy in the treatment of more than 80 diseases and conditions.

How will cord blood stem cells be used in the future?

The field of stem cell therapy is growing rapidly, and the future potential is unlimited.

Current studies are evaluating the effects of using cord blood stem cells to treat diabetes, cerebral palsy, autism, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, and more. Scientists are also using cord blood stem cells to stimulate lung development in premature babies.

Saving your baby's cord blood gives your family the security of being able to take advantage of future advances in stem cell treatments.

Cord Tissue Stem Cells

What is cord tissue?

Cord tissue is the actual umbilical cord and the cells contained within. It is an abundent source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). Learn more about cord tissue

What are cord tissue stem cells?

Cord tissue stem cells, or Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), are the “building blocks” of the body’s skeletal and connective tissues. They have also shown the ability to differentiate into coronary tissue, hepatic tissue and more.

What is the difference between cord blood stem cells and cord tissue stem cells?

Cord blood and cord tissue yield two vastly different types of stem cells that can potentially be used to treat different diseases and conditions within the body.

Cord blood stem cells are called Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs). The primary focus in research with HSCs has been on blood and immune system disorders.

The stem cells derived from cord tissue are called Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Researchers have focused their efforts on connective tissue disorders and regenerative medicine with this kind of stem cell.

Saving both cord blood and cord tissue will provide your family with the widest potential scope of treatment options. Learn more.

How will cord tissue stem cells be used?

Cord tissue stem cells (MSCs) represent the most advanced, cutting-edge discoveries in regenerative medicine today.

With over 300 MSC clinical trials in progress, scientists predict an explosion of new therapies will emerge, including routine treatments for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, heart failure, cirrhosis, bone fractures, autoimmune diseases and many more.

Can my baby’s cord tissue MSCs be used to treat other family members?

MSCs are considered to be immunoprivileged so they can potentially be used to treat an immediate family member with little risk of transplant rejection or GVHD.

Can my family get cord tissue stem cells from a public cord blood bank?

No. Currently, there are no public cord blood banks that will collect, process and store MSCs for future transplantation.

Can cord tissue stem cells be used to treat adults?

Yes. Cord tissue stem cells can be expanded, which multiplies the number of viable stem cells to doses that are suitable for an adult transplant.

Cord Blood Banking

Should I bank my baby's cord blood if my family has no history of cancer?

While cord blood stem cells have proven effective in treating many types of cancers, they have also been used to successfully treat many diseases and conditions unrelated to cancer.

A family history of cancer or other diseases may not be known, but families who save their baby's cord blood understand that these conditions can occur without precedent and without warning.

How long can cord blood stem cells be stored?

Studies have shown that cord blood specimens that have been cryogenically preserved for a period of 26 years have the exact same biological composition as they did at the time of their initial preservation.

All available scientific data suggests that cord blood stored at a constant temperature of -196 degrees Celsius should remain viable indefinitely.

I've already saved one child's cord blood. Is it important to save cord blood for all of my children?

Yes, because each baby's cord blood is an exact genetic match for that child and offers the very best chance of survival, with no risk of GVHD, should they need a stem cell transplant in the future.

Also, in the event that a doctor recommends a donor cord blood transplant, siblings are the preferred source.

Lastly, there is approximately a 1-in-4 chance of parents being a match to each child's cord blood. Storing for multiple children increases the chance of a match being available for parents. 

Separate storage is also recommended for multiple births (e.g., twins, triplets), as it maximizes the volume of cord blood collected.

Can I get stem cells from a public bank if my family needs a transplant in the future?

Possibly, but 80% of all publicly donated cord blood samples are not stored for future transplantation1 so the odds of finding an unrelated HLA match from a public bank are very small.

When faced with a life-threatening disease or condition, you want to give your family the best chance of survival. Using your baby's own cord blood stem cells guarantees a perfect genetic match.

When a donor transplant is recommended, siblings are the preferred donor source due to their likelihood of being a suitable HLA match.

Privately banking your baby's cord blood and cord tissue with MiracleCord ensures that your family will have this valuable resource available for transplant very quickly, without the costly, time-consuming and potentially unsuccessful search that is necessary when looking to a public bank.

1 Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016-31-May from PGCB: Cord Blood Introduction: Cord Blood Infographic: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/cord-blood-infographic

What is the difference between public donation and private banking?

Public banks store unrelated cord blood units from donors. There is no initial cost to the donor; however, retrieving a cord blood unit from a public bank currently costs patients approximately $50,000, and this is often at a time when family finances are already strained.1

The unfortunate reality is that 80% of all donated cord blood samples will never be stored for future transplant.2 The chance of finding a donor match from a public bank is very low.

Private banks store cord blood units for your family's future use. Private cord blood banking ensures that your baby's cord blood stem cells will be readily available, and will give your family the best chance for survival if a transplant is needed.

1 National Marrow Donor Program. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010-11-January from NMDP: University of Chicago: http://www.marrow.org/PATIENT/Plan_for_Tx/Choosing_a_TC/US_NMDP_Transplant_Centers/Detailed_Center_Information/tc_idx.pl?ctr_id=557

2 Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016-31-May from PGCB: Cord Blood Introduction: Cord Blood Infographic: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/cord-blood-infographic
Will insurance cover cord blood banking?

Possibly. Depending on the terms of your individual or group policy, cord blood banking may be a covered service. Please contact your benefits administrator or insurance company for determination.

How soon should I enroll?

Though the decision to bank your baby's cord blood can be made any time before the birth of your baby, planning ahead has many advantages.

Early enrollment ensures that your family has plenty of time to receive your MiracleCord StemCare® thermal collection kit and to review the information provided within.

Since half of all babies are delivered prior to their expected due date, and 12% of all babies are born premature, families who enroll early avoid the risk of missing their only opportunity to bank their baby's cord blood.

Does COVID-19 affect my ability to bank my baby’s cord blood?

No. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak does not affect your ability to have your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue collected and stored with MiracleCord.

Our laboratory and storage facility remain fully operational and we are committed to offering uninterrupted services to your family throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time our medical courier partner continues to have the ability to pick up collection kits after birth without issue.

We are closely monitoring the CDC, World Health Organization and American Association of Tissue Banks best practice recommendations and following those recommendations for our laboratory and offices to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19.

Will my baby's cord blood contain COVID-19 if I have it during my pregnancy?

No. According to the latest research, if you have COVID-19 during your pregnancy or even at the time of delivery, the virus will not be present in the umbilical cord blood or the umbilical cord tissue. 

Note: There is a difference between studies that look for COVID-19 disease transmission between mother and baby, versus studies that test for COVID-19 in the cord blood.

Is my child’s stored cord blood safe from COVID-19?

Yes. Your child’s cord blood and cord tissue samples that have already been cryopreserved with MiracleCord are not impacted by COVID-19.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, is MiracleCord financially stable?

Yes. MiracleCord is a debt-free, profitable corporation with a long history of fiscal stability. Our financial stability ensures continuous operation of our laboratory, storage facility, and call centers.

Collection & Processing

How are cord blood and cord tissue collected?

Cord blood and cord tissue collection is simple, painless and poses no risk to mother or baby.

After the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, your doctor or midwife will sanitize a small section of the cord and insert the collection bag needle. The excess blood that had remained in the placenta and umbilical cord after your baby's birth will flow into the collection bag by gravity. When the flow stops, the collection bag is sealed, labeled and ready for transport to the laboratory.

If you have also chosen to save your baby's cord tissue, your doctor will then cut a 6 to 8 inch segment of the umbilical cord and place it inside the cord tissue collection container.

A few small vials of the mother's blood will also be drawn and sent to our laboratory with the cord blood and cord tissue units.

Is the process safe for my baby?

Yes. There is no risk or pain to mother or baby.

The collection process occurs after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. It does not interfere with the delivery or care of your newborn.

What is Cord Blood 2.0?

Cord Blood 2.0™ is a marketing term used by Americord®. Their claims that they can collect up to twice as many stem cells as all other cord blood banks is unfortunately very misleading to expecting parents.

MiracleCord and Americord both use the exact same FDA approved, sterile cord blood collection bag manufactured by Pall Corporation.

All other conditions being equal (gestation period, birth weight, delayed cord clamping and collecting doctor's skill level, to name a few), the amount of cord blood that can be collected using MiracleCord's StemCare® cord blood collection kit and Americord's collection kit will be identical.

Americord and Cord Blood 2.0 are registered trademarks of Americord Registry LLC.

How does MiracleCord process cord tissue?

MiracleCord uses a proprietary method of processing cord tissue that saves all cell types, including mesenchymal, endothelial, epithelial, neuronal, hematopoietic and perivascular.

Our method of processing cord tissue mitigates the serious limitations of storing whole tissue and consistently yields recovery of high percentages of viable cells after cryopreservation.

If delayed cord clamping is part of my birth plan, can my baby's cord blood be collected and banked?

Yes, however in order to achieve best results with cord blood banking, it is recommended that you ask your doctor/midwife to limit the delayed cord clamping to a maximum time of 30-60 seconds after birth. Learn more.

What if I have a C-section?

Your MiracleCord StemCare® collection kit includes an FDA approved sterile cord blood collection bag that is safe for use in the sterile field, should you deliver by C-section.

Does MiracleCord use Heparin in any collection materials?

No. MiracleCord's collection materials are Heparin-free.

The FDA-approved cord blood collection bag used by MiracleCord contains the anticoagulant Citrate Phosphate Dextrose (CDP). Learn more.

Will my baby's cord blood be collected in a bag or a vial?

MiracleCord's StemCare® collection kit utilizes an FDA approved, sterile cord blood collection bag that is safe for use in the sterile field should a C-section be necessary.

How do I get a MiracleCord StemCare® cord blood and cord tissue collection kit?

Your MiracleCord StemCare® thermal collection kit will be sent to you as soon as you enroll.

Click here to Enroll Online, or call 888-743-2673 and our customer service representatives will be happy to assist you.

What is TimeCritical® processing?

Any delay until processing your baby's cord blood and cord tissue can result in a significant loss of viable stem cells.

Studies have shown that cord blood processed within 12 hours of collection yields considerably more viable stem cells.1

Nearly half of the stem cells collected lose their viability when cord blood is processed 24 hours after collection.

MiracleCord has the unique ability to process your baby's cord blood and cord tissue within 12 hours of collection with our exclusive TimeCritical® processing.2

1 Shlebak AA, Marley SB, Roberts IAG, Davidson RJ, Goldman JM, Gordon MY. 1999. Optimal timing for processing and cryopreservation of umbilical cord hematopoietic stem cells for clinical transplantation. Bone Marrow Transplantation 23: 131-136.

2 MiracleCord has the ability to process cord blood specimens within 12 hours of collection, subject to certain conditions beyond MiracleCord's control.

How will my baby's cord blood and cord tissue get to MiracleCord's laboratory?

Shortly after your baby's cord blood and cord tissue have been collected, call 888-917-7447 to let us know your StemCare® collection kit is ready for pick up.

Our direct medical courier service is available 24/7/365 to retrieve your baby's specimens from your hospital room and deliver them safely to our laboratory for processing.

How is MiracleCord's direct medical courier service different?

Most cord blood banks that advertise the use of a medical courier service will either:
1. Have the medical courier drop-off your baby's specimens at a FedEx® or UPS® location near your birthing facility, and the conventional shipping company will then handle the transport to their lab, or;

2. Hold the specimens until the next day so a large batch is gathered. The courier will then ship the units as a batch to their laboratory.

Both of these methods used by other cord blood banks are cost-cutting measures that add a considerable delay to the transport time and can result in a significant loss of stem cell viability.

MiracleCord only uses a direct medical courier service that will not transfer custody of your baby's cord blood and cord tissue to a conventional shipping carrier, and we never use a batch and hold method.

FedEx is a registered trademark of Federal Express Corporation; UPS is a registered trademark of United Parcel Service of America, Inc.

Should my baby's cord blood and cord tissue be refrigerated after collection?

No. Cord blood and cord tissue should be kept at room temperature from the time of collection until the time the specimens are processed at our laboratory.

Exposure to high or low temperatures can result in a significant loss of stem cell viability.

The combination of MiracleCord's specially designed StemCare® collection kit with built-in thermal stabilizers, and the utilization of our direct medical courier service ensures that your baby's cord blood and cord tissue will be kept at a consistent temperature from your hospital room to our laboratory.

Does MiracleCord Use A Storage Bag with Multiple Compartments?

Yes, we use a multi-compartment cryo-storage bag with five separate segments.

Will my doctor charge a fee for the collection process?

Some doctors charge a small fee for the cord blood and cord tissue collection procedure, which may be covered by your insurance company.

Laboratory

How long has MiracleCord's laboratory been processing cord blood?

MiracleCord's state-of-the-art laboratory facilities have been processing and storing cord blood for more than 20 years.

Is MiracleCord's laboratory AABB accredited for cord blood banking?

Yes. MiracleCord's laboratory and storage facility are AABB-accredited. This ensures that we adhere to the industry's most stringent standards for processing and storing cord blood stem cells.

Are MiracleCord's laboratory facilities licensed in all of the contiguous United States?

Yes. MiracleCord's laboratory facilities are licensed in all of the lower 48 contiguous United States that require licensing.

What type of processing method does MiracleCord's laboratory use?

Our laboratory uses the advanced AXP® II automated processing system that has the proven ability to recover 99% of cells. This recovery rate is 20% higher than Sepax® and Hespan®, the processing methods used by most other cord blood banks.

How will I know that my baby's cord blood and cord tissue have been processed?

Within a few days of your baby's date of birth MiracleCord will send an email to you confirming your baby's stem cells have been processed and are safely stored.

Your MiracleCord Certificate of Storage with a comprehensive laboratory report documenting the details of your baby's cord blood and cord tissue specimens will be available for download approximately 30 days after your baby's birth.

Does MiracleCord perform all required testing on cord blood, cord tissue and maternal blood?

Yes. The AABB and FDA require several clinical tests to be performed on cord blood, cord tissue and maternal blood at the time of initial processing.

Some cord blood banks forego critical testing procedures that may ultimately limit your family's ability to use your baby's stem cells in the future. Without these tests, the FDA may restrict your child's stem cells from being released and used for transplant.

MiracleCord performs all required testing during initial processing to ensure compliance with AABB standards and FDA guidelines.

What happens if my family needs my baby's cord blood or cord tissue for a stem cell transplant?

MiracleCord can cryogenically ship your baby's cord blood and cord tissue unit to a transplant facility anywhere in the world when it is needed.

Your baby's cord blood and cord tissue stem cells can be prepared and ready for shipment very quickly.

When your child's stem cells are needed for a transplant, please call us at 888-743-2673, and we will guide you through the process.

MiracleCord

MiracleCord Awarded Best U.S. Cord Blood Bank of 2021

MiracleCord is honored to announce that we have received the biotechnology award for Best U.S. Cord Blood Bank of 2021 by Global Health & Pharma. 

How is MiracleCord different from other cord blood banks?

Choosing MiracleCord means your family will receive superior quality and exceptional value.

AXP is a registered trademark of ThermoGenesis Corp.

Why doesn't MiracleCord offer placenta tissue banking?

No reputable cord blood banks offer placenta tissue banking. Unfortunately, the banks that are charging for this "service" are taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

This is because the stem cells derived from the placenta tissue (mesenchymal stem cells, also known as MSC's) are identical to those that come from cord tissue.

MSC's from cord tissue can be expanded by thousands of times, providing a virtually unlimited supply of these stem cells, therefore placental tissue banking provides no additional benefit whatsoever.

Does MiracleCord use a direct medical courier service?

Yes. MiracleCord only uses a direct medical courier service to transport your baby's cord blood and cord tissue.

Our medical courier partner will not transfer custody of your baby's specimens to a commercial shipping carrier such as UPS or FedEx.

Each unit is carefully transported from your hospital room to our laboratory in a temperature-controlled environment by experts trained in the handling of biological tissue.

MiracleCord includes direct medical courier service with every plan, at no additional cost to you.

How much time will it take for my baby's cord blood to get to the lab?

MiracleCord has the unique ability to begin processing umbilical cord blood and cord tissue specimens within 12 hours after collection1, which ensures the highest margin of stem cell viability.

1 MiracleCord’s average time of 12 hours from collection to processing was calculated using a date range of 02/25/09 to 10/19/13. Our ability to process cord blood specimens within an average time of 12 hours of collection is subject to certain conditions beyond our control.
How much does cord blood and cord tissue banking cost?

MiracleCord provides the highest quality cord blood and cord tissue banking services to families at affordable prices.

MiracleCord plans are all-inclusive with no hidden fees or additional charges.

Click here to view our pricing and payment plan options.

Is it too late in my pregnancy to enroll?

No. You can enroll any time before your baby is born.

Note: Since 50% of all babies are born before their due date and 12% are born premature, it is recommended that you enroll early.

How do I enroll with MiracleCord?

You may enroll online or by phone. It is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.

  • If you wish to enroll online, click here and complete the online form.
  • If you prefer to enroll by phone, please call 888-743-2673 and our Customer Service Professionals will be happy to assist you.
How many cord blood units has MiracleCord's laboratory released for transplant?

Over 100 cord blood units that were processed and stored at our laboratory facilities have been released for transplant. All of the units were viable and engrafted successfully.

Is MiracleCord financially stable?

Yes. MiracleCord is a debt-free, profitable, privately held corporation with a long history of fiscal stability.

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