Storing cord blood: why and how?

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Among the many activities to offer pregnant women apart is the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood. The essence of the procedure are as follows: immediately after birth from the umbilical cord get blood, which belonged to the fetus. Separated from her cells were frozen and stored in a special bank as long as they are needed.

Value umbilical cord blood is that it contains biologically active stem cells, and is therefore well suited for the needs of cell therapy and transplantation.

Banks Cord blood are divided into registered — they keep the blood of those children whose parents have signed a contract, andbanks registers created on the basis of altruistic donation. Any person who is required to treat the umbilical cord blood may apply to theBank-register. But the problem is that to find a suitable blood is very difficult to match by major antigenic systems, or foreign cells will cause a rejection reaction in the patient. Unfortunately, the Russian collection atbanks of registers quite scarce, so you have to look for blood is often abroad, which takes time (from 6 months to a year) and a lot of money (15,000 euros). A possible way out of this situation — to store their own blood at birth: it will always be available and, if necessary, ideal for transplantation.

How to store cord blood is well established and is available on a contract basis to any parents — only a few people have heard about it. We decided to know more about this opportunity and asked for information leading to the nominal bank Umbilical cord blood stem cell bank "KrioTsentr", based at the Research Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology.

What is valuable cord blood?

Umbilical cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, ie, progenitor cells blood elements. They are used for transplantation, when the proper formation of blood is broken: in leukemia, severe immune system disorders and other diseases. Opponents of cord blood storage is reasonable to note that such pathologies are life-threatening, though, are rare. On the other hand, in the long term it is assumed that stem cells are used as the wider indications. In any case, it is already successfully conducted thousands of transplants of umbilical cord blood saved the life of patients with previously considered incurable diseases.

Umbilical cord blood — not the only source of hematopoietic cells, but it has a number of advantages: easy and safe receipt, youth, and therefore high functional activity of stem cells and the immunological compatibility. But in order to take advantage of pre-harvested blood is required from a few days to a few weeks.

The newborn's umbilical cord blood can be used to treat other family members. Documented cases of successful transplantation of parents, grandparents and even cousins. However, the most likely to be compatible are children of the same parents of many children.

Whether or not to store umbilical cord blood, every parents decide depending on their financial situation and how necessary they consider this procedure. It should be borne in mind that the fence cord blood is particularly indicated for those children whose families meet serious diseases of the hematopoietic system, or already have sick children, which can be cured by cord blood brother or sister, as well as ethnic minorities who find it difficult to find a compatible donor in the international banks registers.

How is cord blood sampling?

After the birth the midwife bandages and crosses the umbilical cord. Then the end of the umbilical cord of the mother is treated with sterile saline and using a needle taken from the umbilical vein blood in a special sterile container with an anticoagulant. Umbilical cord blood is usually a little bit, about 80 ml, so it is expedient further to extract all the information from the placenta in her blood.

The procedure is completely painless and takes only a few minutes. It can be done as a normal birth, and during cesarean section. Moreover, in multiple pregnancies is technologically possible to collect the cord blood of each child.

How to distinguish stem cells?

Not later than one day after sampling a sample falls into the pot. Before submitting the blood for storage, it should be carefully treated. Initially, the sample is checked for infection, and determine the blood groupRh factor, then "process the" i.e. a concentrate stem cells. With the help of a special instrument remove excess plasma and almost all red blood cells. The concentrate was analyzed under a microscope to determine cell viability. The next step — freezing cells, which should not lead to their death. To this end, the cryoprotectant is added to prevent the formation of "sharp, tearing cells" of ice crystals. The concentrate was then slowly frozen to -90 ° C and placed in quarantine storage (vapors of liquid nitrogen, -150 ° C) where they are until ready until the results of all tests. Finally, after about 20 days samples were transferred into a permanent store (liquid nitrogen, -196 ° C).

The output is from 5 to 7 vials concentrate. In addition to the main tube, grow some tubes satellites— They contain a minimum amount of plasma and cells sufficient for analysis. For example, if the owner wants to use her blood to his relative and need to check for compatibility, will not have to defrost the basic pattern — will be sufficient to remove the tube-satellite.

How to store stem cells?

Cord blood cells are stored in special tanks with liquid nitrogen in a separate room located deep underground. Low temperature maintains a special automated system that continuously monitors the level of liquid nitrogen. It will work even in case of disconnection of the central power. Cord blood bank is guarded around the clock.

Studies show that in this condition the cells remain virtually intact over the years. Already, there is no doubt that they will not lose their properties for15-17 years. Theoretically, the frozen cells can be stored indefinitely.

Who owns the stem cells?

Before the majority of the child reserve cells Cord Blood it belongs to the parent or the person who is specified in the contract of storage. After the age the child becomes the owner.

How much is the contract?

For something to take away, isolate and freeze the cord blood cells have to pay around once in 2000 Euro. In the future storage of the sample will cost 3000 rubles a year (the amount prescribed in the contract and no subsequent changes).

What to do if you want to save the cord blood?

At any stage of pregnancy to come to the bank of umbilical cord blood to be tested for infection and conclude the contract. Then the bank's employees in advance deliver to the hospital with a unique set of nominal barcode agree with the doctor and midwife will provide a fence and delivery of blood to the bank, where it will be allocated from the stem cells.

It does not matter, does the paid or free birth or a c-section. If a woman is brought by ambulance to the nearest hospital struggles, should call the phone around the clock and report its location — the bank's employees agreed with the doctors.

Source: Bank of stem cells, "KrioTsentr"

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