Frequently asked questions

The consultants of the Vita 34 customer service answer numerous questions by telephone or by e-mail every day. We compiled the most frequently asked questions concerning the storage of stem cells and umbilical cord blood and the related answers in the following.


Your question is not listed? Please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 0800 034 00 00 at no extra charge or by writing an e-mail to kundenservice@vita34.de!



Question: Why does Vita 34 store the umbilical cord blood as whole blood?

Vita 34 answers:

Stem cells are lost in every separation procedure. Vita 34, administrating the umbilical cord blood only on behalf of the parents, cannot and will not accept such loss. Furthermore, the entire natural environment of the cells changes, i.e. a much lower plasma concentration meets a much higher cell density. This impairs the stability of the cells after thawing. Certain cell types that are yet unknown may be lost in the separation procedure. This may concern 30 to 40 different types and functions interacting through chemical signals. If one is missing, the entire network lacks an important component. Public banks in particular often use separation or volume reduction for reasons of economy – it requires less storage space.

Your advantage: All cells and cell components that are not discovered yet remain in the blood and are frozen at their maximum quantity – nothing is lost.



Question: How does my child benefit from me storing its umbilical cord blood?

Vita 34 answers:
For parents and children, umbilical cord blood yields a new kind of precautionary option. The treatment of age-related diseases like heart attack, stroke, arteriosclerosis, or diabetes is currently being examined in studies. If you store the stem cells for your child, you know that they are available, when your child needs them and keep this option open for him or her – regardless of his or her age.



Question: If umbilical cord blood is so valuable, why does not everyone store it?

Vita 34 answers:
Because even today most people are not sufficiently informed about the subject and decide against the storage out of ignorance. Another reason surely is that the storage of stem cells costs money. That is why Vita 34 offers convenient time payment plans of a little more than 20 Euro per month to all parents. Talk to us – we will find a solution for you.



Question: Can parents and siblings benefit from the stem cells?

Vita 34 answers:
In general, yes. The key is that the tissue characteristics have to correspond similar to organ donation. Dangerous rejections after transplantation do not occur only when the tissue characteristics of donor and recipient match. The probability that the umbilical cord blood matches the parents unfortunately is only about one percent. The chances of treating a sibling with the umbilical cord blood are clearly better. There is a probability of 25 percent that the tissue characteristics match. In case the umbilical cord blood is applied within the family, Vita 34 will determine the necessary HLA characteristics.



Question: My midwife has reservations concerning the subject of umbilical cord blood. Why is that?

Vita 34 answers:
In direct talks to midwifes, Vita 34 found out that they have not in general a skeptical view towards the subject of umbilical cord blood. Midwifes are rather very eager for knowledge and want to be informed comprehensively and in detail. It became evident that after having talked to experts or after a training course, initially skeptical midwifes became by far more open to and benevolent towards this subject. If you have the impression that your midwife wants to know more, we would like to send her the literature or invite her to an information event with stem cell experts.



Question: Were stem cells from umbilical cord blood already applied?

Vita 34 answers: 
About 4.5 million umbilical cord blood preparations have been prepared for long-term storage on the grounds of private parents’ initiative. More than 1,100 umbilical cord blood has been given for treatment, more than 100 in Europe, 53 of which were previously stored at Vita 34. In Japan and the USA, who are leading in the field of umbilical cord blood worldwide, umbilical cord blood is used already more often than bone marrow even today. They treat e.g. cancer and metabolic diseases as well as brain injuries. Doctors all over the world confirmed our quality after application. There is no other German company, except Vita 34, the umbilical cord blood of which has already been applied.



Question: Why are your own stem cells the first choice?

Vita 34 answers:

Your body tolerates your own stem cells and new cells produced from them optimally. Foreign stem cells have other tissue characteristics and therefore often cause rejections. If the treatment permits, autologous stem cells are preferred. An exception is the treatment of leukemia, where they prefer a suitable donor from the family, as this bears the greatest chance of matching tissue characteristics. Together with the allogeneic stem cells, the healthy immune system of the donor is transferred to the patient. Even remaining individual leukemia cells are attacked and destroyed by the new immune defense.



Question: What can umbilical cord blood do that bone marrow cannot?

Vita 34 answers:
The therapeutic success depends crucially on the age of the stem cells. The younger the stem cells are, the more they can do. Latest examinations even show that certain age-related diseases like arteriosclerosis occur only when the stem cells of the affected persons are too old to repair the damage themselves. Because that is a fact, people aged between 18 and 45 years are preferred to donate bone marrow. Good to know: Vita 34 stores all preparations as whole bloods to prevent that valuable stem cells or ingredients that are not used yet are discarded. Thus, we make furthermore sure that the maximum quantity of stem cells is available to each child.



Question: Is it difficult to collect umbilical cord blood?

Vita 34 answers:
No, quite the contrary. It is exactly the simple and risk-free collection that makes umbilical cord blood such an interesting source of stem cells. After your baby is born and the umbilical cord was cut, the blood is extracted from the piece of umbilical cord that is still connected to the placenta. Mother and child do not feel anything.



Question: Is the collection of umbilical cord blood possible everywhere?

Vita 34 answers:
Umbilical cord blood can be collected in Germany only after the delivery team was trained personally on location by the related umbilical cord blood bank. Vita 34 has organized trainings all over Germany and owns the associated official license. Therefore, the collection of umbilical cord blood is possible at almost any maternity clinic.



Question: What happens if my child needs stem cells?

Vita 34 answers:
Vita 34 has an in-house laboratory that is occupied every day, and a reliable courier available around-the-clock. When time is of the essence, we transport the stem cells within a few hours to any hospital in Germany – as a matter of course after the umbilical cord blood was tested again. In most of the cases, however, in which Vita 34 cord blood has been applied so far, we were in touch with the parents and the doctors in attendance for several months before the date of the stem cell transplantation was scheduled.



Question: Are the stem cells sufficient for treatment, when my child has grown up?

Vita 34 answers:
In general, adults can be treated with umbilical cord blood too. Worldwide, every third application of umbilical cord blood was to adults. After the collection of umbilical cord blood, the contained cell count is determined exactly. And even if this is not optimal for the body of an adult, the prospects of successfully treatment are good, because modern procedures enable the proliferation of stem cells. These methods are currently being clinically tried and tested, but when your child has grown up, they should long be routine.



Questions: Who are the people behind Vita 34?

Vita 34 answers:
Vita 34 was founded by physicians and is managed by physicians. In addition, biologists, chemists, biochemists, and laboratory experts work at Vita 34 – all with the same goal of ensuring the highest quality and maximum safety.



Question: What are Vita 34’s experiences?

Vita 34 answers:
Vita 34 was founded in 1997 and is therefore most experienced in the field of stem cell storage in Germany. About 280.000 stem cell preparations have already been prepared at our laboratory. We developed many of the methods and procedures that are standard these days in Germany.



Question: What does the name “Vita 34” mean?

Vita 34 answers::
“Vita” is the Latin word for “life”. The number 34 stands for the surface molecule CD34, which characterizes hematopoietic stem cells. Our name symbolizes the responsibility of company and personnel. It stands for the safe storage of stem cells in top quality and thus for the protection of life.