We receive cord donations from healthy women in Panama. Our donors sign a consent form, fill out a detailed questionnaire, and give a blood sample. The mothers’ blood and the cord blood undergo extensive testing for HIV, STD’s, hepatitis, etc. Once we ensure the cords are free of all infectious diseases and 100% safe we process the tissue to extract the stem cells.
All donated cords are the by-products of normal, healthy births. Each cord is carefully screened for sterility and infectious diseases under International Blood Bank standards.
Each spinal cord injury patient’s own bone marrow is collected by withdrawal into syringes that are inserted through the skin on the back and into the hip bones. This procedure is performed by an experienced hematologist with an anesthesiologist in a hospital operating room under light general anesthesia. Bone marrow collection typically takes about 1.5 hours.
Our spinal cord injury protocol uses stem cells from both umbilical cord tissue and the patient’s own bone marrow. It is the only protocol that employs stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow.
Bone marrow collection is quite safe and most patients do not find it to be painful – during or after the procedure.