Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Cord Blood Banking? We've got you covered.

Our goal is to put you and your family’s health on the best possible path to success. We want you to have the answers you need for all your cord blood banking questions.

If you have a question that isn’t answered below, our friendly customer service representatives are standing by to help.

Cord Blood Basics

  • What are stem cells?

    The blood left inside the umbilical cord after birth contains stem cells. These cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune system.46 Stem cells are “master cells” of the body with a special ability to heal and create new healthy blood and tissue cells.7 Cord tissue also contains stem cells that can be saved. Research into the use of these cells shows that they may have healing potential for many common diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.11,15,16

  • What are newborn stem cells used for?

    Newborn stem cells from cord blood and tissue are currently used to treat nearly 80 diseases. Over 35,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide to date. New research is looking at additional ways that stem cells can be used to regenerate or repair damaged cells to treat many common diseases.1,4

  • What makes umbilical cord blood stem cells unique?

    Newborn stem cells can help heal the body by promoting recovery and offer an enormous amount of therapeutic potential.7 Stem cells from cord blood are unique in several ways:1,6,7

    • They can proliferate, or reproduce, rapidly
    • They experience lower exposure to environmental toxins
    • They are biologically young
    • They play a role in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases

  • What diseases do newborn stem cells treat?

    There are nearly 80 proven uses for cord blood today. Many transplants have saved the lives of patients with cancers and genetic disorders. There are many clinical trials using cord blood or cord tissue that may provide new proven uses as research progresses. The stem cells found in cord blood have been used in therapies to treat the following diseases:1,69,78

    Cancers

    • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CML)
    • Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL)
    • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML)
    • Lymphomatoid granulomatosis
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)

    Blood disorders

    • E-β+ thalassemia
    • E-βo thalassemia
    • HbSC disease
    • Sickle βo thalassemia
    • Sickle-cell anemia
    • α-thalassemia major
    • β-thalassemia intermedia
    • β-thalassemia major

    Metabolic disorders

    • Adrenoleukodystrophy
    • Alpha-mannosidosis
    • Gaucher disease
    • Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome
    • Hunter syndrome
    • Hurler syndrome
    • Hurler-Scheie/Scheie syndromes
    • Krabbe disease
    • Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome
    • Metachromatic leukodystrophy
    • Morquio syndrome
    • Mucolipidosis type II
    • Niemann Pick syndrome type A/B
    • Sandhoff disease
    • Sanfilippo syndrome
    • Tay-Sachs disease
    • Gunther disease
    • Sly syndrome

    Bone marrow failure disorders

    • Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia
    • Autoimmune neutropenia (severe)
    • Dyskeratosis congenita
    • Fanconi anemia
    • Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia
    • Congenital sideroblastic anemia
    • Cyclic neutropenia
    • Diamond-Blackfan anemia
    • Evans syndrome
    • Glanzmann disease
    • Juvenile dermatomyositis
    • Kostmann syndrome
    • Myelodysplastic syndromes
    • Pancytopenia
    • Red cell aplasia
    • Refractory anemia
    • Severe aplastic anemia
    • Severe neonatal thrombocytopenia
    • Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
    • Thrombocytopenia with absent radius (TAR syndrome)

    Immune disorders

    • Adenosine deaminase deficiency
    • Ataxia telangiectasia
    • Chronic granulomatous disease
    • Complete DiGeorge syndrome*
    • Omenn syndrome
    • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
    • Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
    • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
    • IKK gamma deficiency
    • Immune dysregulation polyendocrinopathy
    • Juvenile xanthogranulomas
    • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
    • Leukocyte adhesion deficiency
    • Myelokathexis
    • Reticular dysplasia
    • Thymic dysplasia
    • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
    • X-linked agammaglobulinemia
    • X-linked immunodeficiency
    • X-linked lymphoproliferative disease

    Other

    • Osteopetrosis
    • Systemic mastocytosis

  • What are the odds that I or one of my family members will need a blood transplant that uses newborn stem cells?

    Based on the available treatment options today, the odds you may need a stem cell transplant by the age of 70 are 1 in 217. This number could change as research progresses and new diseases are added to the list, giving families even more reasons to bank at birth.53

Processing and Storage

  • How is cord blood processed and stored?

    Cord blood is prepared for cryopreservation by removing the red blood cells and plasma, and storing the white blood cells and stem cells for future use. Your child’s cord blood is processed with individual attention in a closed system. Cells are stored in a cryogenic bag with an extra overwrap for the ultimate sample protection during storage.

  • How is cord tissue processed?

    Cord tissue is stored whole to preserve all cell types within the tissue for future use. Since umbilical cord tissue research is still in its early phases and the “right” method of processing is not standardized or known, we store the sample with minimal manipulation so as not to limit your possibilities. That way, your family has access to all cells within the cord and can utilize the right method and the best technology available at the time it is needed.

  • How will Evercord store my child’s cord blood sample?

    Evercord seals each individual cord blood unit in a multi-compartment storage bag and an extra impermeable for additional protection. Samples are stored in cryogenic freezers called “dewars,” in vapor phase liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius until you need them for your family.

  • How long can you store cord blood?

    One study looked at samples stored for over 20 years and found no difference in cell viability based on time in storage. 67 Currently, there is no known expiration date as long as samples are stored under proper conditions.

Delayed Clamping & Delivery

  • What is delayed cord clamping?

    Delayed cord clamping is the practice of letting the cord blood flow to the baby after delivery. After a certain amount of time, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The amount of time in delayed cord clamping varies and is not always consistent. Your doctor may clamp and choose to cut the cord at various times ranging from 30 seconds after birth to the moment cord pulsation stops completely. 54-63

  • Can I choose delayed cord clamping and still bank my baby’s cord blood?

    Yes. If you would like to bank your newborn’s cord blood and choose delayed cord clamping as part of your birthing plan, consult your doctor. Delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking both offer benefits. 64

  • If I have a C-Section can I still bank my baby’s cord blood?

    Yes. After your baby has been delivered, the physician will use the cord blood collection kit we provide to collect the cord blood before the placenta delivers.

About Cord Blood Banking

  • What is the difference between a public and a family bank?

    A public, donation bank is for the public’s use. They accept free cord blood donations that may help patients in need of a transplant. Not all hospitals offer public banking. Donating to a public bank may benefit sick patients but does not guarantee access to your baby’s stem cells if you need them in the future. When you bank with a family bank like Evercord, your samples are always stored for your private use. Family banking guarantees security for your family’s sample, for the long-term.

  • What does it mean to have an HLA match?

    Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is used to match donors and recipients when a transplant is needed. If a doctor decides a stem cell transplant is the best course of treatment, they often start looking for sufficient matches in any first or second-degree family members. To determine if there is an HLA match, a blood test needs to be performed. Siblings are often close matches with a 25% chance of being a perfect match. 65

  • Can my baby use their own stem cells for possible treatment?

    Yes. Certain bone marrow disorders, cancers, and anemias may be treated with a patient’s own cells. 1 Certain diseases, like genetic disorders, will need to be treated with stem cells from a donor (such as a sibling). In many cases, an individual will need their own cells for entrance into current clinical trials. For example, there are clinical trials for autism, cerebral palsy, and type 1 diabetes that all require the patients’ own cells (to date). 19,20,24

  • Is there a benefit to banking cord blood for each of our children?

    Yes, if banking for all your children is possible. This is an exciting and rapidly developing area of medicine with many uses of cord blood already confirmed and more being researched. Entrance into current clinical trials often requires the child to have their own cord blood.

  • Should we bank our baby’s cord blood even if we have no history of disease?

    Some common diseases such as cancer often occur in families with no medical history of the disease in question, so storing cord blood can help you prepare for the unexpected in the event stem cells are the treatment of choice.

  • Is cord blood banking more appropriate for some families?

    There are individuals for whom it may be more difficult to find a suitable donor from public banks. This includes individuals of mixed ethnicities and individuals who are adopted or conceived through surrogacy/egg/sperm donation and may not have a relationship with the biological relatives that could be matches if they need a donor. In addition, parents with a family history of any of the diseases treated with cord blood stem cells should consider banking. To speak with a genetic counselor about your options contact 1.844.243.5211

  • How does a stem cell transplant work?

    When you and your physician need them, your child’s stem cells will be sent to your transplant hospital and infused via IV into the patient’s bloodstream. If successful, they may be able to repair and heal damage caused by disease. 1

Shipping and Lab Details

  • How is my baby’s cord blood shipped to the lab?

    Call the phone number on the kit after delivery and a medical courier will come to the hospital and retrieve the kit for shipment to the lab. With Evercord, cord blood is collected using the FDA-recommended anticoagulant CPD (citrate phosphate dextrose), which helps preserve the cells during shipment to the lab. 66

  • What is the difference between FDA-registered and FDA-licensed?

    When a bank is FDA-registered, it means they have provided a list of their products and each of the manufacturing steps they perform to the FDA. Registration with the FDA doesn't mean a firm is "endorsed" by the agency, it simply means the firm has notified the FDA that it is performing one or more manufacturing steps. 49 Our lab partner Bloodworks was awarded one of seven FDA licenses to manufacture cord blood. This reflects their high-quality processing procedures and understanding of regulatory processes. The collaboration between Natera and Bloodworks enables robust systems and procedures to be in place to ensure that products are created with high levels of quality that give our families peace of mind.

About Evercord

  • What is Evercord?

    Evercord is a newborn stem cell banking service that offers the opportunity for families to save umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cells for future medical use. Evercord is part of the Natera family of products.

  • Who is Natera?

    Natera is a leader in prenatal and non-invasive genetic testing. With Evercord, Natera expands this vision by offering families an opportunity to invest in the power of newborn stem cell science.

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