Donating stem cells is surely a noble work to do. People, generally, donate stem cells for the allogeneic transplant either because either their friends or any loved one need a perfect match. There are different important things that you have to keep in mind while becoming one of the stem cell donors. The stem cell or bone marrow donor is often needed to treat the patients suffering from blood cancer. You can be a donor when your stem cells are matching with the person you are donating to. Besides that, there are some important information that you have to know.
Things to know before donating a stem cell donor
There are many things that you should be aware of. If you are here, then probably you have decided to be a stem cell donor. In that case, here are some of the important things for you:
- Is there any side effects?
During the procedure, you will likely to get a general or a spinal anesthesia. Hence, some of the common side effects are lower back pain, stiffness when you are walking, fatigue and bleeding at the site where the samples are collected from. In such cases, doctors prescribe some of the medications for curing pain and to ease out any sorts of discomfort.
- When you can donate?
The process of donation starts only after your bone marrow matches entirely with the patient who is in need of it. Once the match is confirmed, the donor will be informed. If the donor wants to go through the donation process, then you will have to go through a surgery. The bone marrow donation is actually a surgical process and you will be operated in an OT of the hospital.
- How long is the process?
The process is more or less 1 and half to 2-hour’s process. With the help of the needles, the doctors will withdraw the bone marrow from the hipbone of the donor. But if it is PBSC i.e. peripheral blood stem cell donation, it is a non-surgical procedure which is quite similar to that of the donating platelets.
- What are the requirements for donation?
The requirements for being a stem cell donor are simple. First of all, you have to be in good health and secondly, you have be at least 18 years old. Ideally, it is better to be within 44 years of age. This age range is the most advised one by the health experts as this produces better outcome for the patients.
So, if you are willing to become a stem cell donor and you are okay with all the points mentioned above, then you can simply contact the health physician. The health expert will first diagnose your overall health and will tell if you are in the right condition to donate your stem cells. Then your stem cell sample will be collected to check whether or not it matches with the patient. If it does, then the procedure will start. This can be a long process and you need to make sure that you are mentally ready before you start.