Along with what happens once a donor becomes a match
joining registry is one step closer to be able to save a life and curing patients suffering from blood disorders like blood cancers, thalassemia, sickle cell disease, aplastic anemia and other marrow diseases. Also, your commitment to the next step once matched to a patient can save a life. Your commitment could be someone’s cure.
Becoming a donor requires a sample collection usually collected by a cheek swab and a simple form filled and consented by you to be contacted at the time of matching to a patient. Sample of cells collected through a swab is used for HLA (Human Leucocyte Antigen) Typing, which ascertains whether you are match to a needy patient. These searches happen on behalf of the patient through out the world by the registries as requested by the physician of the patient. Most significantly this would require your reliable commitment to stay on the register as a marrow donor.
Once you are a match to a patient, you are firstly informed so that full medical check up with your consent can be carried out and then marrow donation takes place.
Marrow donation can be carried in two ways: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) or bone marrow. The patient’s physician chooses the donation method that’s best for the patient.
peripheral blood stem cell donation: this is a non-surgical procedure of collecting stem cells through blood called apheresis. Similar to platelet donation, apheresis takes approximate 5- 8 hours.APHERESIS:
Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation is one of two methods of collecting stem cells from donor. PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure, called apheresis.PREPARATION:
Before donation, up to 5 days, an injection to the donor is given to multiply stem cells and bring them into blood stream for easier extraction.
Similar to platelet donation process, stem cells are extracted. Blood from donor is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine which extracts stem cells from the blood and; remaining blood is returned to the donors through a needle in the other arm. 90% of all PBSC donations are completed in 1 apheresis session, which may take up to 8 hours. The remaining 10% of the donations are completed in 2 apheresis sessions, which will take 4 to 6 hours each.SIDE-EFFECTS:
40% of donors show some side-effects to the GCSF injection administered to multiply the stem cells in the blood, which are headaches, body aches etc. which disappear soon after the donation of stem cells. These side effects are show up of body’s defense to the multiplied number of stem cells, which is done by the injection given.RECOVERY OF DONOR:
Recovery time is less than a week for over 75% donors and rest within 10 weeks. Very rarely few donors experience anything abnormal after donation of stem cells.
this is the surgical procedure of donating marrow. Unlike PBSC, marrow donation involves use of anesthesia. After the surgery, donor might feel tired or weak and have trouble walking for a few days. The area (usually pelvic bone area) where the bone marrow is extracted might feel sore for a few days. You are likely to be prescribed pain reliever for the discomfort. Donor is able to get back to normal routine within a couple of days, but it may take a week in some cases before donor feels fully recovered.