Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank : first Cord Blood Bank in Canada to be awarded FACT Accreditation
Montreal, March 6, 2012 – By demonstrating compliance with the NETCORD-FACT International Standards for Cord Blood Collection, Processing, Testing, Banking, Selection and Release, Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank has earned FACT Accreditation. NETCORD-FACT Standards are defined by leading experts based on the latest knowledge of the field of cord blood banking.
“Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank is the first public cord blood bank in Canada in compliance with these rigorous standards. This accreditation will further distinguish Héma-Québec in the area of cord blood banking. FACT Accreditation has evolved into an all-but-necessary qualification in the field of cellular therapy. We believe this will bring more confidence in Héma-Québec’s ability to help patients in need for a stem cell transplant”, said Dr. Martin Champagne, Cord Blood Bank Director at Héma-Québec.
“We are pleased that Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank has met the requirements of the Foundation and has been granted accreditation for cord blood collection, processing and release for administration of related and unrelated allogeneic donations,” said Dr. Phyllis Warkentin, FACT Medical Director.
Accreditation by FACT is used by physicians for referral and, in the United States, by insurance companies for reimbursement. Héma-Québec believes FACT Accreditation will make physicians and health professionals aware that its facility strives to achieve the highest standards for cord blood bank programs.
FACT conducted an on-site evaluation of Héma-Québec Public Cord Blood Bank on September 2011. The accreditation process involved the submission of documentation to demonstrate compliance with the Standards and a subsequent on-site inspection conducted by inspectors qualified by training and experience in cord blood banking.
In December 1994, the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) merged their Standards into a single document covering all aspects of hematopoietic cell therapy (collection, processing, and transplantation). The two societies established FACT in order to develop a voluntary Inspection and Accreditation Program based on the joint Standards. FACT promotes quality medical and laboratory practice of cellular therapy through its peer-developed standards and voluntary inspection and accreditation program.
In 2000, recognizing the global impact of cord blood banking and transplantation, FACT partnered with NetCord to develop international standards for cord blood collection, processing, testing, banking, selection and release. The NetCord Foundation is an international network of non-profit public cord blood banks created to promote the establishment of high quality cord blood banks and improve the quality of cord blood products through study and research.
The FACT Inspection and Accreditation Program was developed by Dr. Phyllis Warkentin, FACT Medical Director, the FACT Directors and Officers, as well as the ISCT and ASBMT Regulatory and Standards Committees. The first edition of the NetCord-FACT Standards was published in 2000.
Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of the population; to provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.
Héma-Québec manages, since 2004, Quebec's publicly-funded umbilical cord blood bank in order to meet the demographic changes of its population and contribute to the international repositories of volunteer donors for those in need of an hematopoietic transplant. Héma-Québec collects, processes, tests and store cord blood volunteered by thousands of women. Currently, the cord blood bank inventory contains more than 6,300 cord blood immediately available for use by patient in need of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant in Québec, Canada and abroad. Searches may be initiated by transplant programmes by contacting the Cord Blood Bank at 514-832-5000, ext. 253, by fax at 514-832-0266, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give blood. Give life.
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