Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

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 Research Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health 






Frequently Asked Questions

Patients and Families


1. What normally happens to the placenta and umbilical cord after delivery?
The placenta and umbilical cord are normally discarded after birth or sent to pathology for evaluation by a Perinatal Pathologist, if this is clinically indicated. By donating these products to the research studies we support, you can help further our knowledge of human development and disease, and contribute to the development of new treatment options. 

2. How do I give consent?
Upon admission to the Mount Sinai Hospital Antenatal Ward, Triage, or Labour and Delivery Unit you may be approached by a BioBank staff member to sign a consent form to donate specimens to our program in support of research.
Before you decide if you would like to participate:
  • take as much time as you need to make your decision.
  • ask any questions you may have and make sure that all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.
  • feel free to discuss the RCWIH BioBank program with anyone you wish (including your doctor, or other clinical staff in Obstetrics and Gynaecology) 

3. What does the consent form look like?
We have various consent forms depending on the requirements for collection. All our consent forms provide the same information on our program, research we support, confidentiality, and risks and benefits which you can view here in our Main Consent Form. All consent forms used by our program have been reviewed and approved by the Mount Sinai Hospital Research Ethics Board. 

4. What are the risks and benefits to me?
Participation in the RCWIH BioBank program is completely voluntary.
Collection of donated materials does not interfere in any way with your care or your baby's care, or with any personal banking you may wish to have of your baby's umbilical cord or umbilical cord blood following delivery. If you do not wish to participate, or wish to withdraw at any time, you are free to do so and this will in no way affect your present or future medical care, or that of your baby's.
Information from perinatal research will help doctors better understand the biological pathways that lead to complications of pregnancy. Most likely you will not receive any medical benefit from your participation in the BioBank program. However, if researchers note any findings that may be important for your baby's health, it may change the medical care provided and could positively influence or help to guide your baby's health management.  

5. Has the operation of the RCWIH BioBank been ethically approved?
Yes. The operation of the RCWIH BioBank adheres to the highest ethical standards. It has been fully approved by the Mount Sinai Hospital Research Ethics Board, which operates in accordance with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Guidelines on Reserach Involving Human Subjects, ICH-GCP Guidelines, the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act (2004), and Part C, Division 5 of the Food and Drug Regulations of Health Canada. 

6. How do I contact the RCWIH BioBank?
To request additional information about the RCWIH BioBank program, please contact our office. 






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