Friday, April 16, 2010

Donating Bone Marrow Can Save a Life

A while back, Keep Calm and Carry On provided information on becoming a bone marrow donor and bone marrow donation here, here, and here. Blood stem cells taken from the bone marrow or blood of a matching volunteer donor can be used to treat a number of conditions and can be life saving for people with diseases of the blood, bone marrow, or certain types of cancer. It only takes 5 minutes to do a buccal swab to determine if your tissue might be a match for someone in need of a transplant.

Often times when individuals think of bone marrow donation, they think having having to be put under anesthesia and having a long needle draw bone marrow out of a bone in their hip. However, I'm happy to say that the process has improved there is another option to donation. The other option is to administer certain drugs (which unfortuantly may have flu-like side effects) which stimulate the release of stem cells from the bone marrow into circulating blood. An IV is inserted into the donor's arm, and the stem cells are filtered out of the blood. The procedure is similar to donating blood or platelets.

Today I went to the local university student center and did a buccal (cheek) swab to see if I might be a donor match for a bone marrow transfusion for two local girls in need
Ailing sisters still need a donor match | | The Star Press
and was added to the National Donor Registry.

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