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frequently asked questions

Where are stem cells stored?

VitaCord guarantees the long-term storage of stem cells in Austria. The preparations are preserved in specially protected and insulated vaults in Mauerbach near Vienna. The stem cells are stored in a highly concentrated form, deep-frozen in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degrees.

How do i know that they will not be subject to research?

Research is the duty of universities and large hospitals, but not that of private institutes such as VitaCord, which have the sole goal of providing the optimum cryopreservation (= long-term storage in liquid nitrogen) of umbilical cord stem cells for personal healthcare. Thus, at VitaCord umbilical cord stems cells are only available for a later medical application for your baby or for a relative.

How long may stem cells be stored?

Stem cells extracted from bone marrow, or peripheral blood, have been stored for approx. 40 years. It has been possible to demonstrate that, when stored correctly, there is no notable loss of vital stem cells over this period of time. The same is to be assumed for umbilical cord stem cells - namely that there is no difference in their storage capacity to that of bone marrow or hematopoietic stems cells. However, they have only been stored for 15 years so far – it is for this period that their unlimited storage stability in liquid nitrogen has been demonstrated. Fundamentally, “lifelong” storage stability can be assumed for conservation in liquid nitrogen.

Can i also have the umbilical cord stem cells frozen at a later point, than at the moment of birth?

Umbilical cord stem cells may only be extracted directly after the clamping of the cord following the birth. This is a one-time opportunity that may not be repeated.

What happens if my child should require the stem cells at a later point in time?

Upon receipt of a corresponding demand from the hospital carrying out the treatment, VitaCord will transport the stem cells (at no extra cost) to the respective location and hand them over for further application.

Is it also possible to use stem cells for siblings or parents?

Umbilical cord stem cells are an autologous donation, which means that a possible later application is primarily intended for the child concerned. However, a sensible future application for relatives – in a similar way to today’s bone marrow donations – is conceivable under certain conditions.