Frequently Asked Questions
Stem cells are the building blocks of the body. These cells have the ability to renew themselves and differentiate into other types of cells. This can range from brain cells to muscle cells. In some cases, stem cells can even repair damaged cells. Newborn cord blood and perinatal tissues are rich sources of these powerful cells. Newborn stem cells have been FDA-approved to treat over 80 serious medical conditions and they have the potential to treat 100s of other conditions that have no cure today.
A newborn’s umbilical cord blood and perinatal tissues have the power to do so much more than care for your baby in utero. They are rich in multipotent stem cells, growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix proteins which make up treatments for over 80 conditions and are being studied extensively in hundreds of clinical trials.
When you bank your baby’s cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue, you are maximizing your family’s potential to use these life-saving stem cells today and in the future.
Today, there are 80 FDA-approved treatments using newborn stem cells. Stem cell treatments continue to evolve and transform each year. There are 300+ clinical trials worldwide studying newborn stem cells and perinatal tissues to treat medical conditions including autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and more.
Children are genetically unique, meaning their stem cells are too! Investing in biobanking for each child ensures an exact genetic match is available. It also increases the likelihood of a useful match for other family members.
Yes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a delay in umbilical cord clamping in vigorous term and preterm infants for at least 30–60 seconds after birth. After this time, your team will collect the remaining cord blood for preservation.
Cord blood remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following a baby’s birth. It’s a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), currently used to treat 80+ serious medical conditions.
Cord tissue refers to the tissue of the umbilical cord, not the blood it contains. Cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can transform into many different kinds of cells, including organ, muscle, bone, and cartilage cells. MSCs are not currently being used for FDA-approved treatment, but they’re being investigated in over 300 clinical trials worldwide because of their potential to revolutionize medical practice.
Placental tissue is also a rich source of MSCs. Using our proprietary technique, we extract MSCs from the placenta that are a genetic match to the mother and may someday be used therapeutically.
First and second-degree family members all have the potential to use your baby's cord blood stem cells.
1 in 3 will benefit from regenerative medicine or a stem cell transplant in their life. Newborn stem cells may be able to treat baby, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even your child's future children. When you bank your baby’s cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue you are investing in the health and longevity of your entire family for generations.
Cord blood contains a special type of stem cell called a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). HSCs are multipotent stem cells that have the capacity for self-renewal in the body and the potential to turn into mature blood cell types.
Cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs are a different type of stem cell than those that are collected from cord blood. They can proliferate into skin, connective tissue, bone, cartilage, and even organ cells.
We offer the industry's highest engraftment guarantee: $110,000. If your child’s cord blood is used in a stem cell transplant and fails to engraft, Americord will pay up to $110,000 to locate an alternate stem cell source if medically indicated. (Terms and conditions apply.)
Stem cell preservation has only existed for the last 30 years. Research shows that if cord blood stem cells and perinatal tissues are properly preserved and cryogenically frozen at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196 degrees), it should be possible to safely store these cells for decades longer. Some scientists support that with proper storage, stem cells can be cryopreserved for 200+ years without degradation. Dr. Hal Broxmeyer and the Indiana University School of Medicine are conducting a decades-long study on the long-term viability of cord blood and tissues. His study shows that stem cells cryogenically stored for 5, 10, 15, and 23.5 years have highly effective rates of viable stem cell recovery. In the coming years, they will test viability at 30 years.
Promising new research shows that placental tissue MSCs are effective in the expansion of cord blood HSCs ex vivo. In other words, scientists are finding ways to increase the number of HSCs outside of the body in order to develop even more effective cellular therapies for all ages.
The maternal blood test looks for any infectious disease(s). FDA regulations require our lab to perform this test for each specimen that enters the facilities. If the blood test comes back positive, and is stored, it will be quarantined.
No, there are no FDA-approved treatments using exosomes. However, there are hundreds of active clinical trials researching various applications for exosomes.
CryoMaxx™ Processing is Americord’s unique proprietary processing method. We use a minimal manipulation method on cord and placental tissue to retain their inherent multipotent cells, growth factors, and cytokines for therapeutic use.
Processing your baby’s stem cells is the most important step of the preservation process. How stem cells are handled, processed, and prepared for storage directly affects the usability for future treatments. Other banks may implement cheaper, automated, and corner-cutting processing methods to offer lower prices.
At Americord, our scientists’ primary focus is ensuring the highest-level quality processing, each time. CryoMaxx™ Processing maximizes stem cell usage and utility using a manual manipulation processing method, giving families more options for more treatments.
Many blood banks focus only of the MSCs and pre-process (mince) the perinatal tissues prior to cryopreservation. This severely limits future treatment options.
Americord’s unique CryoMaxx™ Processing method uses a minimal manipulation method and preserves the tissue as sheets in multiple vials. This enables the cord tissue to retain its inherent multipotent cells, growth factors, and cytokines and ensures the potential for multiple uses or applications.
Stem cells from cord blood and perinatal tissues are each stored separately. We use specialized cryo-bags, which are encased in an outer casing, cooled slowly, temporarily stored in a quarantine freezer, then moved to a long-term cryo-freezer. The cryogenic freezer uses vapor nitrogen to ensure sterility.
The industry and Americord’s minimum threshold for storage is 40 mL of blood and 100 million total nucleated cells. This ensures future treatment viability. If the yield is below par and the client decides not to store the sample, Americord does not charge a processing or storage fee.
Some clients opt to save even a small cord blood collection since future technology and regenerative medicine might enable the use of these cells. If the yield is below par and the client decides not to store the sample, Americord does not charge a processing or storage fee.
Biobanked specimens will be stored in our New Jersey lab. Our lab is designed to meet the highest regulatory standards available, including those of the FDA, and all federal and U.S. state regulatory agencies and all accreditations, including AABB.
At Americord, we maintain the highest level of storage security, monitoring, and overall protection in the industry. With 24/7 multi-layered monitoring and a specialized emergency team that is able to move stem cells at a moment’s notice, your baby’s stem cells are protected from natural catastrophes, national crises, or other potential failure points.
Collecting stem cells is painless, easy, and entirely safe for the mother and baby. It does not alter the birthing process in any way. The umbilical cord blood is collected after your baby has been born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. The average time for umbilical cord blood collection is 5-10 minutes and is performed by your medical care team.
Yes, collecting cord blood and perinatal tissues is a simple medical procedure. Our collection kit also includes easy-to-follow instructions for your medical care team.
When you arrive at the hospital, remind labor and delivery staff that you are banking your baby's cord blood and perinatal tissues. Give them the Americord 4-in-1 Collection Kit. After the baby is born, your doctor will perform the collection and give the kit back to you or to a designated family member.
After your baby is born, call the phone number on the Americord 4-in-1 Collection Kit 866-503-6005 to schedule a pickup with our medical courier. The courier will confirm the hospital location and pick up the kit from your bedside, usually within a two-hour window.
Heparin, which acts as an anticoagulant preventing formation and extension of blood clots, is not FDA-approved for cord blood collections. Our cord blood collection bag does not use Heparin. We use an anticoagulant called Citrate Phosphate Dextrose, which is approved by the FDA.
No, we do not conduct any research or perform any clinical trials. However, we do support many Americord families who participate in clinical trials each year with Duke University, Riley Children's Hospital, and other organizations throughout the United States.
Yes, stem cells can be used to treat adults. The historical challenge was that cord blood banking often only collects enough stem cells to treat someone under 65 pounds. Today, regenerative medicine advancements and clinical trials have expanded the way we use cord blood and perinatal tissues.
If you plan to use your stem cells in a treatment or clinical trial, specific documentation and approvals will need to be completed to ensure the safe and secure transfer of your child's stem cells. Our Client Services team will work with you through the entire transfer process. Depending on use or transfer reason, you may be responsible for a transfer and/or release fee.
Depending on use or transfer reason, you may be responsible for a transfer and/or release fee.
The entire process from receiving your sample, analyzing the information, and producing your results takes between 12 and 14 weeks. The estimated delivery time varies because every person’s genomic information is unique and may require different degrees of analysis.
No, at this time genomic testing or screening is not covered by insurance companies in the United States.
Whole genome sequencing is reading the billions of letters in your DNA, a long chain made up of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs. All your genes are encoded with this 4-letter code, so we analyze your sequence and subsequently look for changes or variants in the genes.
Whole genome sequencing creates a comprehensive genetic library, enabling the in-depth exploration of your unique genetic makeup. This invaluable resource empowers you to uncover pertinent insights for present-day preventive measures and paves the way for future updates by revisiting your genetic library. Consequently, you can now collaborate with a specialized healthcare provider to tailor your medical care to your individuality, harnessing the rich information stored within your DNA.
Yes! This can explain why later in life, some individuals develop late onset disorders and/or diseases. Genomic testing remains a great resource to prepare for as many changes or challenges that can arise, healthwise.
Americord partners with Veritas Genetics to offer families comprehensive and industry-leading genetic testing. We will not share any information about your family, unless you have purchased a genomic service. Purchasing a genomic service connects you with a Veritas representative. Information and results will not be shared with Americord. Your data is encrypted in Veritas' cloud once the DNA sample has been sequenced. Veritas will not sell your info to 3rd parties without your consent.
Many banks lure customers with discounted processing techniques and pricing which gives a low cost entry and the appearance of an affordable annual price. Once committed, these banks have been reported to the Better Business Bureau for the practice of consistently raising their rates year over year. Discounted processing and ever-escalating annual prices to maintain your storage is the result. This is not Americord’s business model.
At Americord, we never discount our premium processing approach to lure customers and we charge fairly and transparently for storage in payment plans that are affordable and do not escalate over time. Ever.
Yes, Americord offers lifetime storage (78 years). Competitors' lifetime cord blood storage plans cost 34% more than Americord. To explore storage options, visit our pricing page.
You will be charged after your baby's cord blood and perinatal tissues have been processed and cryogenically stored. You will receive a Confirmation of Storage, certifying that your collection is viable and stored properly, with a full lab report. Following this, you will be charged monthly based on the payment plan you enrolled in.
Baby’s due dates can at times be spontaneous, which is why Americord has kits strategically placed around the United States and can rush a kit same-day to expecting parents at their home or the hospital. AmericordRush™ Handling is required if you enroll within 48 hours of your due date, are going to the hospital today, or are going into labor early and forgot your original kit. Additional costs may be applied.
Yes, international shipping is available. Additional fees may apply.
FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts), HSAs (Health Spending Accounts), and HRAs (Health Reimbursement Arrangements) are all special un-taxed accounts you can use to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs. FSA and HSA accounts will sometimes cover cord blood banking when medically necessary.
As of 2023, Americord has more than 22,000 cryogenically stored units.
Americord has had 12 successful releases since 2008. Currently, we have 10+ families in the process of participating in FDA-approved treatments or clinical trials treating Autism, Cerebral Palsy, or Apraxia.
Yes, Americord's in-house laboratory is AABB accredited.
Americord is registered with the FDA and operates in all 50 states. Americord’s reference laboratories are CLIA Certified and our processing labs comply with all federal and state guidelines and applicable licenses, and have been storing cord blood and perinatal tissues safely for over a decade.
If you cancel your order prior to processing and storage, you will not be charged a cancellation fee.
Collection Kits, shipping, and AmericordRush™ handling are non-refundable.
Yes! If you refer a friend who chooses to bank with us, we’ll give them $100 off their order and we’ll send you a $100 gift card or apply $100 to your outstanding balance. To sign-up as an Americord Ambassador click the link below.