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The Process of Bone Marrow Donation

by Marilyn Hunter
The Process of Bone Marrow Donation

If you want to donate your healthy bone marrow cells of stem cells into a bone marrow registry and you want to know what it entails, then you’ve come to the right article. For today, I am going to be talking about the entire process of bone marrow donation so that you can get yourself prepared for what is to come.

Period

If you want to donate either your Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC) or your bone marrow stem cells, the process is a bit different for either of them. PBSC is much easier and it doesn’t require any surgical procedures. The Bone marrow donation, however, requires a surgical procedure done to the donor.

Do note that it takes roughly 30 hours in total for the entire donation process to finish. Do not worry as those hours are spread out over a course of a few weeks, so you do not have to stay in the hospital or registry for far too long. This does not account for hotel stays or travel time, though.

To Get Started

The Process of Bone Marrow DonationBefore you are allowed to donate, your information will be used to try and match you with a suitable patient. Once a patient is found, you are then contacted if you are indeed willing to donate. This is because the registry wants to ensure that you are not coerced in any way to donate your own stem cells.

You will be given a session where they tell you exactly what it entails. They will give you information about the entire procedure, the recovery process, and also about the possible side effects and risks that are involved.

Once that is done, you are then given an informed consent form and it is up to you to sign it or not. Again, you’re not forced to do so.

Once you’ve signed the consent, you will be taken some blood samples to see if you are a good match for the patient and then they will start the procedure.

The Procedure

The Process of Bone Marrow DonationIf you are going to donate your peripheral blood system cells (PBSC), you will be given a drug that will increase the production of your stem cells and it will be predominantly available in your bloodstream for easy extraction. This is the easiest procedure since it does not require surgery.

However, if you’re going to donate some of your bone marrow stem cells, you have to be prepared for surgery. The doctor will give you anesthesia so the entire process is painless. The doctor will insert needles into your pelvic bone to extract the bone marrow stem cells and that’s it.

The Recovery

The good news is that no matter what procedure you’re going to undergo; the recovery time is actually pretty fast. You could feel back to normal in just a few days after the procedure is done.

In case that a side effect occurs, it is best that you contact the registry again so that you will be examined. Do not worry, everything is for free.