11th December LifeCell International, India’s first and largest stem cell bank today confirmed that it continued its regular operations even during the peak rains & flood disaster which badly affected Chennai during end November and early December. The stem cell samples preserved within the Chennai facility were unaffected by threat of rains and floods.
LifeCell officials confirmed that regular operations such as sample collection from hospitals, transportation to the laboratory, processing of stem cells & preservation continued round-the-clock even while the city was struck by heavy rains and flash floods.
LifeCell’s CEO & Managing Director, Mayur Abhaya said “Stem cell banking being a lifetime preservation of stem cells, Lifecell was well prepared to face such natural calamities and enough precautions have been taken across all aspects involving seamless functioning of the laboratory & preservation.
LifeCell processing & preservation facility situated at Vandalur-Kelambakkam High road did not face the problem of water logging inside the premises and there has been no damage to our property or laboratory equipment. The water logging was contained to outside the building, thanks to our preparedness of elevated construction. We are happy to state that we did not have to raise any insurance claims, which goes to firmly establish the safety of the facility and the preserved samples.
The laboratory has been designed for its seismic zone classification making it disaster-proof. The facility has been constructed in such a way that the cryo-preservers containing the stem cell samples are placed on the first floor, ruling out even remote possibilities of damage to stem cell samples through rains or floods.”
While the entire city suffered power outages, the fool-proof power back up system that includes dual fail-over for power through UPS and DG systems and dual fail-over for refrigeration through in-tank buffer and large external bulk tank with enough supply of liquid Nitrogen ensured that the stem cells were preserved at the optimum temperature throughout the crisis period. The laboratory was fully operational for processing without any disruption in power supply.
The paramedic team which was engaged in collection of umbilical cord samples were sufficiently prepared to travel through water-logged streets to collect the samples on time and ensured that each of these are carefully handed over to the logistics team to transporting to the laboratory for processing. Since the Chennai Airport was closed for operation, LifeCell had made alternate arrangements to transport the samples to Bangalore by air and sent to Chennai facility through special road transport. The outstation samples were flown to Bangalore and sent to Chennai facility through special carriages by road.
Dr.Chirayu Padhiar, Laboratory Director, LifeCell said “The processing team was lodged at the facility with all amenities round-the-clock to ensure that processing was on schedule. Alternate hub-spots were used for internet connectivity for registration of the samples in the laboratory software. The team had processed and preserved over 800 samples from 1st to 5th December 2015, even as the entire city was facing the calamity.”
LifeCell also extended its invitation to its client-parents to visit the facility in person and get an understanding of the strength of the facility and the infrastructure.