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Family Bank: Taburit
"Taburit" is Hebrew for "Umbilical". Taburit was founded in 2004 and operates as the marketing arm for the family cord blood banking operations of Sheba Medical Center, the largest medical center in the Middle East. Taburit has a 24/7 call center that answers any questions from expectant parents. They take responsibility to provide collection kits, supervise the collection process, and transport the collected blood to the Sheba Cord Blood Bank.
Labs and Locations
Taburit offices are located in Ramat Hasharon, 15 Km north of Sheba Medical Center. The laboratories and storage are located in the Sheba Medical Center alongside the operation of the public Sheba Cord Blood Bank. The public bank collects donations that are listed with the national cord blood registry of the United States under NMDP, and with the international Netcord registry. The total Sheba operations were inspected and approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health and act in accordance with the Israel Cord Blood Act (2007).
Sheba owns and operates, under the same team and management, two cord blood banks: public and family. The banks operate on the policy that cord blood collections for either public or family are handled the same way, except for the additional tests and size theshold that are required with public donations.
The full business name & location:
Taburit Hamaagar Hamerkazi LeDam Taburi Ltd.
55 Haneviim Street, POB 1939, Ramat Hasharon 47100, Israel
Taburit collects cord blood in 27 hospitals in Israel that have delivery rooms. The collection is done by the staff of the hospital's delivery room. No house collections are allowed according to the Israel Cord Blood Act of 2007.
The Sheba public cord blood bank was founded in 1999 and began private/family banking in 2001. Taburit was founded in 2004, with their first unit collected in March 2005.
The collection kit conforms to the standards required by the Israel Cord Blood Act (2007) and contains a sterile collection bag suitable for C-section use, a syringe for collection, chlorhexidin to sterilize the cord, two vials to collect maternal blood for viral testing, and labels.
Taburit transports cord blood in a "cool box" where the temperature is maintained at 20-25 degrees Celsius. This cool box is then transported in air conditioned cars to the bank.
All transportation arrangements are supervised by Taburit and are available 24 hours a day, year round. This service is included at no extra cost to the family. After cord blood collection, the blood bag and blood vials are stored in the kit packaging (including the cool box), which is sealed and labeled properly. The family notifies Taburit, and a trained FedEx courier will pick up the kit. The courier drives the kit to the bank in an air conditioned car. It is important to note that in Israel the longest route, from hospital to the bank, can take up to 6 hours. This is much less than the maximum 48 hours recommended by FACT accreditation and adopted in the Israel Cord Blood Act (2007).
Sheba Cord Blood Bank website describes their processing method in detail. Cord blood processing is both manual and automated depending on the size and condition of the collection. Sheba laboratory uses the Sepax processing system from the Swiss company Biosafe. Sepax is an automated cell separation system which relies on a light beam to sense the density gradient between different cell layers after the blood has been spun in a centrifuge. The bag kit is sterile, functionally closed, and single-use.
Parents are notified in case testing finds any bacterial contamination or
virus antibodies. After completion of all tests, the parents receive a certificate with information describing the quality of the cord blood collection (the TNC cell count and CD34 assay for stem cells), and the storage tank location.
Stem cells are stored in a blood bag inside a metal cassette submersed in liquid Nitrogen. The storage tanks have alarm systems that are continuously active. The storage freezers are connected to the Security Department of the Sheba Medical Center and are under 24/7 supervision.
Licensing & Accreditation
Taburit inventory as of the end of 2012 was over 20,000 cord blood collections.
So far, Taburit has released cord blood stem cells back to 2 families for (autologous) therapy of the baby who banked the cord blood.
Taburit is the first cord blood bank in the world to provide the baby with an insurance policy that covers the out of pocket cost of all medical treatments (both autologous and allogeneic) with stem cells up to a payment of 1 million New Israeli Shekel (1M NIS is about USD$250,000). It is possible, for an extra fee, to include the whole family in the insurance coverage.
The price for the whole process including 20 year storage and insurance:
Single baby - NIS 8650 (about USD$2400)
Twins (family insurance) - NIS 14084 (about USD$3900).