Some Important Facts You Need to Know About Bone Marrow Donation
You have probably heard about bone marrow transplants before. They are actually quite common and they are used to treat people with Leukemia and other blood-related illnesses. The reason why the bone marrow is important is due to the fact that they are the ones responsible for the creation of the blood cells found in our bodies.
That being said, even though bone marrow transplants are quite common, there is still a lot of misinformation spreading like wildfire about the process of donating some. So in this article, I will go over some important facts that you need to know about Bone Marrow Donation.
1. There is Age Discrimination
This is just far from the truth. Although people of all ages can technically donate some of their stem cells, only the donors who are aged 18-44 provide the greatest chance of transplantation success.
The reason behind this is that if the donor is within this age bracket, their bone marrows are still quite strong and they produce a lot of the much-needed cells. This is by no means a way of discriminating other age groups.
2. Bone Marrow Registries Only Cater to Some Ethnic Groups
This claim is just false. In fact, the bone marrow registry, an institution that accepts bone marrow donations, actually doesn’t have a bias with regards to who can donate their own cells.
No matter what your ethnicity is, you can actually donate yours through the medium. Whether you’re black or African American, Asian, Hawaiian, or Latino, anyone who passes the series of tests can actually become a donor if they want to.
3. Donors Will Undergo a Battery of Tests
This is actually true, however, this is NOT used to exclude anybody. You see, transplantation is a delicate process because you not only have to think about the cells that are going to be infused in a patient, you also have to think about the best genetic match for the person who is getting the transplant as well.
Having the potential donor go through a series of tests will ensure that their donated bone marrow cells will be a perfect fit for people who are going to need some bone marrow cells.
There are actually two methods of donation and these are the PBSC or the Peripheral Blood Stem Cells and the Bone marrow itself.
In the PBSC donation, the donor will not have to undergo surgery as it can be done like a normal blood transfusion.
Days prior to the extraction, you will be given a drug called Filgrastim which will multiply the number of bone marrow stem cells in your body. It will also allow it to flow in your bloodstream for an easy harvest.
You will be inserted with a thin tube and your blood will pass through that tube into a machine that will isolate and separate the stem cells. Another tube will then recycle the blood back to your body and this is done until the doctor has gathered enough stem cells.
In bone marrow donation, the donor will have to undergo a surgical procedure. They will receive a dose of Anesthesia so the entire procedure is painless. The doctor will insert a special needle in the back of the donor’s pelvic bone so that the liquid with the stem cells in it can be extracted.
4. Donors are Paid
They are not paid nor forced to undergo bone marrow donation. However, if the donor is from another part of the country or they are in an entirely different region, the bone marrow registry can pay for all of the expenses to give the donor the chance to go the place and donate their much-needed bone marrow.