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About Cord Blood and Peristem™ Stem Cells

Q:
What is cord blood and what makes it so precious?
A:
Cord blood is the blood remaining in your baby’s umbilical cord after delivery - a source of rich stem cells that are the building blocks for all the cells in your body. These stem cells have the potential to develop into the various tissues of your body in order to replace damaged or abnormal cells for the treatment of various diseases.

For example, stem cells can be transplanted to regenerate bone marrow in either a person who develops leukemia or lymphoma (cancer of the blood or immune system), or for someone who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation
Q:
Why Should I Store My Baby's Cord Blood?
A:
The umbilical cord carries blood between a mother and her baby, which is rich in stem cells that are an exact match for your child. If the umbilical cord is discarded after your baby is delivered, the chance to preserve their precious stem cells is lost forever.

However, if you choose to preserve your baby's cord blood, it will guarantee a perfectly matched source of stem cells forever. These could be used, in the event that a life-threatening illness develops, to combat the disease. In addition, if the need arises and there is a close match, members of your family may also be able to use these stem cells to treat a serious illness.
Q:
Is there any difference in saving the cord blood and the PeristemTM stem cells?
A:
Yes. There is a difference. Cord blood stem cells are haematopoietic cells that can give rise to all the specific cell types in the blood and immune system and therefore offer a safer and favourable alternative to bone marrow stem cells in medical treatments. The cord blood stem cells have shown great therapeutic potential and at present these cells can be used in the treatment of more than 70 different life threatening diseases.

Peristem™ exclusive new service represents a new source of stem cells that have been found in the tissue surrounding the blood vessels of the umbilical cord. These specialized cells are the fundamental building blocks that could regenerate structural tissues such as bone, cartilage, muscle and heart. These cells have also been shown to decrease inflammatory reactions and to be especially beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Diabetes type I and Crohn’s disease. In addition, Peristem™ has the potential to enhance current cord blood treatments and therefore CReATe is encouraging the collection of Peristem™ along with cord blood.
Q:
What diseases can be treated by cord blood stem cells?
A:
For a full list of diseases please click here. Some examples for which cord stem cells are used today are: the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease, anemias, various other cancers, blood diseases, hereditary/genetic conditions and immune system disorders. We are on the cusp of being able to use these stem cells to fight lung cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, AIDS, strokes, spinal cord damage, diabetes, cerebral palsy, kidney disease, and many other diseases.

PeristemTM stem cells could be used in the treatment of conditions such as degenerative arthritis, heart disease, traumatic injuries, birth defects, burns, liver disease, MS, autoimmune diseases (such as Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis) and some cancers. Together with Cord Blood stem cells, they could enhance the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases.
Q:
I am due soon can I still register?
A:
Yes. You may register at any time during your pregnancy, however, for your own peace of mind we recommend that you register early to receive and have on hand your collection kit. Our dedicated staff will ensure that you get your collection kit before delivery. Once registered with CReATe the collection kit is sent to you by special delivery to your given address. CReATe has emergency kits available in labor and delivery areas of selected hospitals for clients who go into labor before completing the registration forms. For those using our emergency kits we ask that the parents fill out all the required forms and sign the agreement contained in the kit and return with the sample.
About Collection
Q:
When and how do you collect the Cord Blood stem cells?
A:
Cord blood is collected after delivery, at the point at which the umbilical cord has been separated from your newborn infant.

It will not interfere with the birth of your baby in any way.

Your physician, nurse or midwife collects the cord blood using a kit provided by CReATe Cord Blood Bank. The cord blood is collected with a special collection bag to ensure maximum yield as it is required by AABB standard in 2007. The collection takes only a few minutes to perform. The bag is delivered to our laboratory for testing, processing and then cryogenic storage in our special storage tank, the Bioarchive®.

Q:
How does having a cesarean section affect the collection process?
A:
The collection process is the same with a cesarean section as it is with a vaginal birth.
Q:
What happens if I am having a multiple birth?
A:
For multiple births, Create Cord Blood Bank recommends collecting cord blood from each baby to ensure there is a perfect match for each. Create Cord Blood Bank provides special pricing for multiple births (see CReATe fee schedule).
Q:
Does the cord blood need to be refrigerated?
A:
No, cord blood should be kept at room temperature from the time of collection to the time of processing.
About Shipment of Samples to the CReATe Bank
Q:
How do I arrange for shipping?
A:
Once the cord blood is collected, either you, or one of your support persons, must call your courier of choice (CReATe recommends 3 same day courier services for pickup - Click here for more information) and let him know that sample is ready to be picked up. Once the sample is shipped to CReATe it is processed and safely stored.
Q:
Will I receive confirmation that the cord blood was successfully stored?
A:
Yes, after the sample has been processed and stored, we will call your contact number to let you know that the sample was successfully processed and stored.

After receiving all the lab results you will also receive a confirmation letter about your sample status.
About Processing and Storage
Q:

How does CReATe process your cord blood?

A:
Cord blood is processed using a special depletion method to remove most of the red blood cells. A cryoprotectant, is added to the cord blood cells prior to freezing. We freeze by utilizing a "controlled-rate freezer." This freezer gradually freezes the cord blood cells and it records the entire freezing process. The cells are put into a special bag for cryopreservation. This bag is then placed into an additional, slightly larger over wrap bag that is sealed to provide additional protection for the cells against cross-contaminants. The sample is then ready for freezing in liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees Celsius).
Q:
What type of storage tank does CReATe use?
A:

We use the patented Bioarchive® system.

This system has a number of advantages over the standard tanks that most banks use. In older systems, the racks of samples are lifted in and out of the tank multiple times for insertion of new samples and removal of others. This exposes the samples to the potential for transient warming, which could result in cell death. The Bioarchive® system uses a robotic arm that pulls the sample into the tank, and places it into a slot. The sample is never disturbed again, unless it is required for transplantation. This system also uses a very special bar code system that is failsafe, for cataloging and identifying your sample in the most accurate way.

Q:
How is the sample protected in the Create facility?
A:

The Bioarchive® system has a sensor system for liquid nitrogen levels, which is monitored 24 hours a day by an alarm system. The entire system is supported by a redundant power to ensure the continual integrity of our system.

The facility is protected by a 24 hour security force.

Q:
How long can the sample(s) can be stored for?
A:
Indefinitely, since the samples are frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Celsius.
About Registering and Fees
Q:

When should I enroll, and how late can I enroll?

A:
We suggest enrolling 2-3 months before your due date. However, if you are just finding out about Cord Blood banking and are late in your pregnancy, don’t worry. We can even help you at the last minute, as long as you register, and we can get the kit to you before you deliver. Just contact us and let us know if it is a “last minute” decision.
Q:
How do I enroll?
A:
You can register with CReATe Cord Blood Bank by choosing one of the following options:
a) Online Registration enroll now with CReATe
b) Download the form (click here) and FAX the completed registration forms to 416-813-4725
c) Download the forms (click here) and mail the complete registration forms to:
CReATe Cord Blood Bank
790 Bay Street, Suite 1130
Toronto, ON
M5G 1N8

You can register at any time during your pregnancy. However, for your own peace of mind we recommend that you register early to receive and have on hand your collection kit.
Q:
Do you have a referral program?
A:
Yes, if you refer a friend, and if they register with us, both you and your friend will receive a free year of storage ($115.00 value for each). There is no limit on how many referrals you can make.
Q:
Can I pay in installments?
A:
Yes, You can choose to make two or three installments.

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