Frequently Asked Questions
What are stem cells?
The blood and tissue in the placenta and umbilical cord contain millions of stem cells that are the building blocks of our bodies. They can assist in the healing, recovery and treatments to help restore the body and enhance lives. They create new blood and tissue cells in a person’s body when injected/transplanted. They have the potential to help treat many diseases such as diabetes, stroke, autism and ALS.
What are birthing tissue stem cells used for?
Stem cells that come from the placenta and umbilical cord are currently being used to help treat 80+ diseases. As more research and clinical studies are completed there will be many more ways these stem cells are used. This link has a list of diseases that stem cells are being used to help treat the disease:
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the stem cell rich blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after the baby is born. Stems cells found in cord blood are hematopoietic, meaning they mature into blood cells. They are the source of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and are the foundation of our immune system. Although routinely discarded, cord blood provides millions of life-saving stem cells that can only be saved at birth. CellSure has a unique processing technique that is not affected if you choose to delay clamping. The technique also allows you to capture and benefit from the mesenchymal stem cells in the tissue itself, maximizing benefit in combination for future treatment options.
What is cord tissue?
Cord tissue refers to the umbilical cord itself. It is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells which are different from the stem cells in cord blood. They are being researched extensively in the area of Regenerative Medicine. Several other companies are just collecting and storing the “raw” tissue. These cells can be collected and stored at birth as well. CellSure has a unique processing technique that allows you to capture and benefit from both the blood and the tissue. This provides a combination of the hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells for future treatment options.
What is placental tissue?
Unlike the umbilical cord, the placenta is a shared organ containing both maternal and fetal stem cells. The amnion membrane is a thin layer inside the placenta and is a very rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells are also being researched extensively in the area of Regenerative Medicine. The placenta can be collected and stored at birth as well. Several other companies are just storing the “raw” tissue. CellSure has a unique processing technique that allows you to capture and benefit from both the blood and the tissue. This provides a combination of the hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells for future treatment options.
Cord blood vs. bone marrow:
Stem cells from your baby’s placental tissue are a perfect match for that child. It is rare to find a perfect match from donated bone marrow. There is also a more likely chance that a sibling could use these stem cells than those from the bone marrow. There is less stringent need for a perfect match for siblings and other relatives because of a lower risk of graft versus host disease, or transplant rejection. Birthing tissue is also easier to collect than bone marrow and, when privately banked, is immediately accessible by your family, an important consideration when time is of the essence.
Why should I donate my child’s birthing tissue?
Donating your child’s birthing tissue stem cells is an incredible way to give a life changing gift to others. Your donation will also contribute to the ongoing research to develop new treatment options. This donation will only take minutes following delivery and is completely safe and pain free for both mother and child.
Why didn't my doctor talk to me about birthing tissue options?
Crowded waiting rooms and busy physicians are all too common in today’s medical world. In this environment, information about options for using birthing tissue is seldom a priority for physicians. Many may not be well-versed in the benefits of storing/donating for preservation and research. You may not receive any information from your physician regarding birthing tissue preservation, or only an informational brochure. It is up to you to educate yourself, and to be proactive with your physician should you have any questions or concerns.
Should I store more than one child’s stem cells?
If you have the opportunity, yes. Children are genetically unique and so are their stem cells. Saving stem cells for each child ensures an exact genetic match is available for that child if the need should arise. In addition, it increases the chances of a useful match for other family members. Stem cells from a sibling’s placental tissue has a higher likelihood to be useful for a transplant as compared to stem cells from a sibling’s bone marrow. Even with identical twins, it is important to save as many stem cells as possible, and it is recommended that stem cells be collected from both babies. In general, the collection volume per baby in multiple births is smaller, so collecting placenta stem cells for both babies helps ensure an adequate stem cell yield for transplantation if needed.
Who can use my baby’s placental stem cells?
The placental stem cells can be used by the child it was collected from in many cases. There is also a very high chance it can be used for a full sibling and or parents. At this time, if you were to go through a public bank (donated cord blood) to find a match, you would have a much smaller chance of finding a match.
What is the likelihood that my child will get a disease that may be treated using stem cells?
This is a widely debated question. Detractors say it may be as much as 1 in 10,000 chance of using cord blood as a child. Proponents say that when you consider the current list of diseases treated plus the extensive research that is taking place, perhaps 1 in 200 children born today may need a stem cell transplant from any source during their lifetime.
How long can newborn stem cells be stored?
Your child’s stem cells are stored at approximately -196°C. Samples that are 25 years old have been successfully transplanted. It is believed that the samples can remain indefinitely in the cryogenic state without losing viability.
When should I decide?
Let us know as early as possible. It is best to make this decision before the 30th week of your pregnancy. More than half of all babies are delivered early. However, CellSure can accommodate if other arrangements need to be made by calling client services @ 866-646-6171.
Can I delay cord clamping and still collect my child’s birthing tissue?
Yes. Delayed cord clamping will not drastically impact the cell count in the placenta and umbilical cord.
Is the birthing tissue collection safe?
Yes. Collection of cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta collection is safe, easy and painless for both the mother and baby.
How long can newborn stem cells be stored?
Your child’s stem cells are stored at approximately -196°C. Samples that are 25 years old have been successfully transplanted. It is believed that the samples can remain indefinitely in the cryogenic state without losing viability.
Will I be charged a fee by my healthcare provider for the collection?
Some providers will charge a fee for the collection, but it is at their discretion. You should discuss this matter with your provider prior to delivery. CellSure provides everything your healthcare provider will need to collect your baby’s tissue. CellSure also provides all that is needed to draw and collect your blood. Return shipping is covered by CellSure.
Is CellSure a private or public bank?
CellSure is both private and public. Private banks store stem cells for family use and will be available to them immediately when they are needed. Public banks save the stem cell donations for those who might need them.
Where will my child’s placental stem cells be stored, and for how long?
Your child’s stem cells will be cryopreserved in our FDA registered CellSure lab. Your stem cells will be stored as long as you choose to continue storing them. Birthing tissue stem cells have been found to be just as viable after 25 years as they are the day your child is born. There is no expiration date as long as your stem cells are properly stored.
Is CellSure an accredited lab?
CellSure has an FDA registered lab.
How does CellSure ensure the confidentiality of my personal information?
CellSure takes confidentiality seriously. Because of the sensitive nature of families’ medical information, all CellSure employees sign confidentiality agreements. The collection and use of your personal information are governed by our privacy policy.
How does the procedure work?
You simply apply online answering health and social questions that are required by AATB and the FDA. When you qualify and complete you will be given the choice to donate or store your baby’s placental stem cells. A kit will be shipped out to you prior to your due date with all collection supplies and information needed for your healthcare provider. You will want to inform your healthcare provider of your decision to donate/store your baby’s placental stem cells prior to delivery. Your provider will have some paperwork to complete as well as assist in collecting some blood samples. All the necessary supplies to do so are provided in the kit by CellSure. Easy to understand instruction sheets are provided for collection and for packing and return shipping. A check list for the hospital staff and you the parent is also provider to assure all is complete. If at any time you, your healthcare provider or hospital staff have any questions CellSure client services is here to assist 866-646-6171.
How do I communicate with my Healthcare Provider about this?
It is important that you understand that this is your choice. Not all healthcare providers have an understanding of the benefits of stem cells. In turn, not all healthcare providers have been educated on the process for collection. CellSure has taken extra measures in making this as simple as possible and not to take away from the birthing experience or your doctors’ attention or time. Every kit has step by step instruction sheets on collection as well as packing and return shipping. If at any time your healthcare provider or their staff have any questions CellSure client services is here to assist 866-646-6171.
If I change my mind from donating to storing what are the steps for that?
Call client services @ 866-646-6171 and someone will be happy to assist you in getting that changed.
How and when is the tissue collected?
Your baby is not involved in the collection process. It is painless for the mother and takes just a few minutes. Not much longer than if it was to be discarded using standard hospital protocol.
Will my Healthcare Provider know how to perform the collection?
Yes. Birthing tissue collection is a very simple procedure. Easy to follow instructions are included in your collection kit. If your Healthcare Provider has any collection questions, CellSure provides specialized personnel that is available anytime to answer Healthcare Provider questions.
How does the collected tissue get from my hospital room to CellSure?
After the Healthcare Provider collects and packs the samples, they are placed into the shipping kit and sent to the lab via a shipping transport or our medical delivery service. Each kit contains specific instructions about the collection process, how to prepare the samples for delivery and how to arrange for shipping or pick-up where available. Once the units are in storage at the lab, you will receive notification from CellSure.
Once I have delivered how do I go about getting the collection get to the CellSure lab?
If you are located in Utah call client services to arrange pick up or to get shipping instructions. For locations outside of Utah a return FedEx label is located on the bottom of your CellSure kit. Simple follow packing and return shipping instructions and drop off at your local FedEx office. If you need assistance locating one or if you deliver on a weekend or holiday, please call client service for shipping assistance 866-646-6171.
Will the processed tissue be tested?
Yes, various tests will be run on your baby's placental tissue to ensure that only viable and safe to use samples are being put into storage. HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) testing will not done by CellSure. However, CellSure will coordinate with your chosen physician.
How will I know my baby’s placental stem cells have been stored safely?
Once it arrives at the lab and initial testing is completed, you will receive a notification. Once the unit is in storage, you will receive another notification of Storage. The lab has full backup systems in case of a utility failure. The temperature and the liquid nitrogen level of the tanks are monitored both electronically and manually. In case of a temporary power outage, generators will turn on. If ever needed, our CellSure tanks are transportable, and we can safely and easily move them to a new location.
How long will the cells remain viable in the kit after collection?
The cells in the tissue should be processed and cryogenically preserved as soon as possible. That is why it is very important to contact client services as soon as possible after collection to arrange shipping or pick-up where available.
Is there an additional fee for processing my baby’s birthing tissue stem cells?
No, CellSure does not charge a processing fee.
Are there shipping fees?
Yes, if you choose to store there are shipping charges that apply. Although we may charge a small shipping fee, CellSure absorbs the remainder of the shipping costs. Unlike other companies, CellSure does not charge a processing fee.
How do I go about retrieving my child’s placental stem cells if the need should arise?
Should the need arise, contact client services 866-646-6171. We will send you and the treating physician release forms. CellSure will then work with your physician to make arrangements for confirmatory testing, release, and shipping to a designated clinic or hospital. The physician will first request an aliquot (mini sample) for confirmation of viability, HLA testing. We will deliver that aliquot and the subsequent sample units to the medical center specified by overnight courier in a cryogenic shipper.
What does CellSure charge to retrieve my child’s sample?
CellSure does not charge a retrieval fee. However, there is a shipping charge for any sample that is needed for treatment by an accredited facility within the United States. When shipping outside of the United States, clients are responsible for all charges incurred from the cryogenic courier you have selected. Any required HLA testing for sample to be used on a family member other then child will be facilitated by a Healthcare Provider.
Will I receive a notification or invoice when payments are due, or will my credit card simply be charged?
A notification will be sent to remind you that your annual fee is coming due and that your payment will be charged. If at any time you need to update your payment information, please go to “personal information” link or call client services for assistance @ 866-646-6171.
How do I update my information?
Simply log into your CellSure account using your email and password you created at time of application/transaction. You will be able to manage your account in several ways, update personal information, update payment information, make additional payments, apply for another donation or storage.
When is my annual storage fee due?
Your annual fee is due on your yearly anniversary. Notification will be sent to as a reminder prior to charging your form of payment on file. If at any time you need to update your payment information, please go to “update personal information” link or call client services for assistance @ 866-646-6171.
Can I prepay the annual storage fee?
Yes, you may prepay for as many years as you would like by using the drop-down box at time of check out. If at any other time you would like to make additional prepayments, please contact client services 866-646-6171.
What if I want to cancel my account?
You may cancel your account any time by contacting CellSure. Cellsure will send you a termination agreement form to fill out and provide proof of your identity. Your account needs to be in good standing before cancelling. CellSure will not refund the annual storage fee.