SINGAPORE: On Sunday (April 21), Bloomberg reported on the fury thousands of parents are experiencing in the wake of the scandal, with some reportedly even taking legal action against the company.

The report says these parents have formed a group to assess the possibility of a lawsuit against Cordlife, one of Asia’s leading providers of cord blood and cord lining banking services.

After the company offered refunds to parents whose infants’ cord blood had been mishandled, some of the parents refused it outright, deeming it to be inadequate.

One parent who had been offered around S$5000 was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that Cordlife has “little regard and no remorse for losing something so precious.”

Exposing cord blood units to suboptimal storage temperatures may damage the stem cells in the cord blood. Cord blood may be used to treat certain diseases, such as cancer.

Many parents stored the cord blood with Cordlife for years, playing for the service as the stem cells contained in cord blood could be used in therapies to treat their children and even save their lives, should they fall gravely ill.

See also  Yio Chu Kang Primary School student tests positive for Covid-19; school conducts home-based learning

In November 2023, Cordlife made the news when the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a notice after the company reportedly mishandled the cord blood units of thousands of clients.

In March, four of Cordlife’s directors were arrested.

MOH found that several of Cordlife’s cord blood unit storage tanks had been exposed to temperatures above the acceptable limits of below -150 degrees Celsius, and the Ministry told the company to stop processes for up to six months.

Read related: 4 Cordlife directors arrested amid investigation of mishandled cord blood units

Investigations showed that cord blood units belonging to at least 2,150 clients had been damaged, and an additional 17,000 may also have been affected.

Last December, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that many people had reached out to him over the investigation into the company.

Because the cord blood under the company’s custody had been compromised, “many parents are understandably upset and distressed,” wrote Mr Ong in a Facebook post.

See also  Morning brief: Coronavirus update for June 8, 2020

Read related: Ong Ye Kung: Many parents are upset and distressed about Cordlife’s mishandling of cord blood

On April 17, the company filed a police report wherein it accused “mostly former” staff members of possible wrongdoing concerning the mishandling of the cord blood samples.

The Bloomberg report added that even in Hong Kong, parents wrote social media posts expressing their concerns over Cordlife’s operations in that city.

While the company’s headquarters are in Singapore, Cordlife serves clients in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. /TISG