Infectious Disease Testing

The expectant mother’s blood will be taken when she is in the Delivery Suite. The mother’s blood will be evaluated and tested for Infectious Disease Markers (IDM). The testing is required during cord blood donation to ensure that all donated cord blood units are free and safe for HSCT patients who are immunologically compromised.

Some diseases can stay dormant in blood and become active at a later time. These diseases are classified as diseases which are transmitted via bodily fluids, especially during delivery when the virus might potentially spread to the baby during the pregnancy. The blood will be tested for viruses such as Hepatitis, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (the virus that causes AIDS) and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) tests for an antibody that can be produced in people who have Syphilis. The tests will be used to find out if the donated cord blood is eligible to be stored in the public cord blood bank.

SCBB has a strictly-confidential clause and donors are identified by a unique number rather than by name. Thus, absolute confidentiality is assured. No donor information will be released to anyone other than the donor herself. However, SCBB must comply under the Infectious Disease Act to report positive result(s) to the Ministry of Health. The donor mother will also be notified through her physician of any positive result.

The donated cord blood units have to be free from infections and genetic diseases, as it will be used for saving patients who are already immunologically compromised by their own condition and any slight infections from the cord blood transfused could potentially be deadly.