The Seven Steps
to Donating Bone Marrow
Yup, that's what your
bone marrow looks like!
- At a donor center or a
registration drive, you
learn about what it means to be a marrow donor.
You give 2-3 tablespoons of blood and consent to
be listed in the main donor registry. (No marrow
is actually given at the time of registration.)
||Your tissue type is
determined and entered onto the donor registry.
- A lab analyzes your blood to determine its tissue
type (which, by the way, is a different thing
altogether than blood type). The results are
added to the registry's main computer, which is
searched regularly by my doctors and doctors of
other patients who need a marrow transplant.
||You are contacted if a
preliminary match is found.
- If the computerized registry shows that your
tissue type is close to mine or any of the
patients in need, your donor center contacts you
and arranges additional testing.
match" is identified.
- To find out whether you are a "perfect
match," additional tests are done. If you do
match, you will be given counseling and a
||You decide whether to
- After being fully informed about what it means to
donate bone marrow, you make the decision to
||A small amount of your
marrow is collected.
- You'll go to a hospital near you. A small amount
of your marrow is collected from the back of your
pelvic bone with a special needle and syringe.
Anesthesia is used during this simple surgical
||You recover quickly from
- Typically, the donor stays overnight in the
hospital. Afterwards, you can resume normal
activity, although you may feel some soreness in
your hip for several days. Your marrow naturally
replenishes itself within a few weeks.
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