The Umbifunnel: A unique, purpose-designed, cord blood collection device.

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The Umbifunnel: A unique, purpose-designed, cord blood collection device.

Key Plastics and the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, the oldest maternity hospital in the world, combined expertise to design and manufacture the Umbifunnel, a truly innovative product that provides enhanced performance, increased safety and more ease-of-use. It is a unique, purpose-designed, cord blood collection device which comprises of a collection funnel and stand.

Collecting blood from an umbilical cord, post-delivery, is common practice in obstetric and neonatal care. The blood collected is used for screening and diagnostic tests including blood typing, genetic screening, haemoglobinopathy screening and coagulopathy screening, among other functions.

Until now, the two most commonly used methods for collecting this blood have been, to use a needle and syringe, or a draining method. These methods pose risks of needlestick injuries to staff, and of not obtaining the best sample possible.

The Umbifunnel removes the need for needles and syringes and eliminates the risk of needle stick injuries for many tests that occur daily in maternity units worldwide, and reduces the risk of clotting, making sure that these precious blood samples’ integrity is kept intact.

Moreover, the elegant simplicity of the design of the Umbifunnel means that it is easy to use and minimal training is required. Its versatility allows umbilical cord blood to be funnelled into all standard laboratory collection tubes and it allows hands to be free for cord milking.


Les Corbett, Health and Safety Manager at the Rotunda Hospital, and inventor of the Umbifunnel said:The Umbifunnel is a simple solution. It’s intuitive, no training required and makes an important step in the blood collection process easy. It also eliminates the risk of needle stick injuries during the collection of umbilical cord blood. So, not only is the Umbifunnel fast, efficient, and versatile, it’s also safe.”

Speaking about the device, Prof Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, said: “At the Rotunda Hospital we are always looking for new ways to improve the experience for patients and staff. The Umbifunnel invention has been progressed through the dual support of our partners Key Plastics and is a direct response to Principle Number 2 of the Rotunda Hospital’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021 objectives. This is the latest example of the Rotunda Hospital providing the platform for innovation and paving the way forward for best national and international healthcare practices.”

“The Umbifunnel is a versatile device allowing cord blood collection into various anticoagulants and sample container sizes, thus making it suitable for haemoglobinopathy screening, coagulation studies, blood grouping and a variety of diagnostic tests and research studies. These anticoagulant sample containers are the recommended sample type for assays in the laboratory and should eliminate any requirement for repeat samples due to erroneous results. Also, as these tests can be performed directly from the sample tube, any risk associated with sub-sampling is eliminated, thereby enhancing patient safety.” Deirdre Murphy FACSLM Chief Medical Scientist- The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin

The advantages of the Umbifunnel include:

• It is safe, fast and efficient
• Minimal training required
• Eliminates the risk of needle stick injuries
• Allows hands to be free for cord milking
• Reduces blood clot formation


For more information on the Umbifunnel, please contact Jean-Marie on [email protected] or +353 1 2869231