Safety Standards


Canadian Blood Services' Cord Blood Bank comply, by law, with Health Canada regulations to ensure cord blood is collected safely and effectively.

Specifically, we comply with Health Canada’s Human Cells, Tissues and Organs for Transplantation Regulations and applicable Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards.


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Donations are sent to our manufacturing facility for assessment, processing, testing and storage (cryopreservation). We remove excess red blood cells and plasma using the Sepax processing system. This reduces the volume of each cord blood unit while keeping blood-forming stem cells. Those cells are combined with the dimethyl sulfoxide, a preservative that protects them from damage during freezing.

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Cryoprotected cells are transferred to a specially designed freezer bag and sealed in an overwrap bag for individual quarantine in a BioArchive freezer. The BioArchive is a robotic freezer that controls and monitors the rate of freezing. The cord blood unit is cooled to approximately -50 degrees Celsius over 25 minutes to minimize damage to the cells.

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Once cooled, the cord blood unit is submerged and stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196 degrees Celsius. This allows the donation unit to be banked for a long period of time and made readily available to Canadian and international patients once selected. There are examples of cord blood stem cells being transplanted after 16 years without any deterioration in quality. With this knowledge — and ongoing innovation in the medical community — Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank can provide the highest-quality cord blood stem cells for transplantation.