What is the collection and transport procedure at Biophylaxis?
When should the cord blood collection take place and how?
Your obstetrician or mid wife will collect the cord blood as soon as your baby has been delivered. Everything required for the collection is available in the Kit which is provided by Biophylaxis. Biophylaxis will ensure that your physician is informed of the procedure related to the collection of cord blood.

Is there any difference in the procedure between vaginal delivery and Caesarean Section?
The collection procedure is the same in both cases.

Can the collection of cord blood take place if the placenta is prematurely delivered?
In the case that the placenta is prematurely delivered the collection procedure can still be done with the only difference that the blood remaining in the umbilical cord will have to be assisted or "squeezed" through. Your physician will be aware of this procedure.

Are there any risks involved in the collection procedure?
The collection procedure for cord blood is completely risk-free and painless for both the mother and the newborn. Nonetheless, the physician's first priority is always the health and safety of the mother and her child.

Is there a required minimum quantity of cord blood which must be collected?
Your physician will do his best to collect as much cord blood as possible. In general, the more quantity of cord blood which is collected the higher the likelihood that a satisfactory amount of stem cells will be found. The minimum required quantity of blood is 80ml. Nonetheless, you should be aware that there is always the possibility that even though the minimum quantity of blood collected may prove that an insufficient number of stem cells is found.

This may be due mainly to a natural low quantity of stem cells in the cord blood or to anatomic difficulties such as atrophy of the placenta, short length of the umbilical cord, etc.

Why is it necessary to also collect a sample of the mother's blood?
In accordance with international standards it is required to have laboratory tests conducted on the mother's blood within a 7-day timeframe from before or after birth. The best, safest and most efficient practice (for the exclusion of any possible doubt of infection of the mother) is to take the mother's blood sample at the time of birth. The tests which are conducted involve the following viruses:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Syphillis (VDRL)
  • HIV I & II
  • HTLV I & II

In an effort to provide the maximum possible safety and accuracy in the results, Biophylaxis has entrusted the above tests to an independent certified laboratory.

Why does the Personal / Family Medical History Form have to be completed?
In accordance with international standards, it is required to have a medical history available so as to identify blood samples of possible higher risk for infection from viruses. In addition, in the case that stem cells are required for use in a transplant, the medical history in addition to all the laboratory test findings provide the treating physician with an overall picture of the stem cells which are to be transplanted.

What are the transport conditions for the cord blood until it reaches the laboratories?
Even though Biophylaxis' laboratories are located within Greece and the blood sample is not exposed to time consuming transport abroad, Biophylaxis has taken care to provide a special controlled temperature Kit which is developed and certified in accordance with the special instructions for transport of biological substances from the UN and IATA so as to ensure that the cord blood sample is maintained in stable temperature settings for at least 48 hours.

The Kit must always be maintained at room temperature, never refrigerated, and kept until courier pick-up preferably in a cool and dark area in the mother's hospital room. If the blood sample is exposed to extreme temperature variations, for example removed from a refrigerator and then moved to room temperature, there is a risk that the cord blood sample may have been adversely affected.

How is the cord blood sample transported?
In an effort to ensure that the transport of this precious biological material to the laboratories is made in a timeframe and under conditions which maximize the possibility of successful isolation and storage of stem cells, Biophylaxis has assigned the transport to a courier company which is certified, specialized, and authorized in the transport of biological substances. Pick up is daily from maternity hospitals throughout Greece at predesignated times. It is the parents' responsibility to notify Biophylaxis once the cord blood procedure has been completed, so as to arrange for the timely and safe transport of the cord blood sample to the laboratories.