Donating bone marrow can save a cancer or rare blood condition patient. The procedure requires stem cell extraction from either your bone marrow or blood. Umbilical cord stem cells are a new approach to obtain healthy donor stem cells, although they are generally insufficient for adults.
Low blood cell production bone marrow patients need stem cell transplants. Stem cell or bone marrow transplants restore damaged stem cells in many people. Finding the appropriate fit is the only challenge.
The best match is someone whose HLA levels match the recipient’s HLA. To match antigens, your doctor will take donor and recipient stem cells. Better matches make it easier for donor stem cells to create red, platelet, and white blood cells in the recipient’s bone marrow. Nearly 30% of persons discover a matched donor among close relatives. Others might have to rely on outsiders. So, what makes you a good bone marrow donor?
Registering for bone marrow donation requires being 18–35 years old, healthy, and meeting medical standards. Young donors improve transplant success. To find whether you are a perfect match with the donor, HLA typing is required. It’s a blood protein that a child gets from their father and mother. There’s a 25% chance that your sibling and you might share the sample HLA markers.
The reason why HLA typing is needed is that it ensures that your body doesn’t recognize the new stem cells as foreign objects. These stem cells are also more likely to produce new blood cells, replacing your damaged bone marrow.
Registering as a stem cell donor, especially if you have a relatively common HLA type, will help you save someone’s life. There’s an increased chance of someone having an HLA marker close to yours, thus being a perfect match.
Just before your HLA type matches with the recipient’s HLA doesn’t mean you are an ideal candidate for bone marrow donation. The doctor will run a few essential tests to determine your health. Blood tests including CMP, CBC, and pregnancy tests may be needed. HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, chickenpox, CMV, and toxoplasmosis tests will be ordered by your doctor. They may order a chest X-ray and electrocardiogram for heart patients. Only when you’re deemed physically fit and healthy will you then be deemed appropriate for this sort of donation.
Although hundreds of thousands of patients register themselves for bone marrow transplants, there’s always the need for more healthy and young patients. For this procedure to work, the HLA match between the patient and the donor must be close. Why not join a registry today? After a few simple steps, your name will sit on a registry until you’re considered a match for somebody in need. Then, you’ll undergo more tests to see if you’re the right person for the donation. If all goes well, you can donate and the person in need can get better!