You are eligible to become a bone marrow donor if you are aged between 18 and 50 and your health is good. At the moment Russia does not have an officially published list of contraindications to donating bone marrow, however they mostly coincide with the contraindications to donating blood. HOW TO BECOME A BONE MARROW DONOR
To become a member of our Registry you need to:
- fill in the necessary forms;
- provide a buccal swab sample for HLA-typing.
If you want to become a donor, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(write "I want to be a donor" in the subject line).
After HLA-typing results have been received the donor gets an individual code and he or she is entered into the database. This fact is confirmed by a text message sent to the donor's mobile.
The main condition of entering the Registry is that the donor should be willing to render gratuitous help to any patient requiring donor hematopoietic cells. The Registry finds donors for patients notwithstanding their country of residence, their ethnic, religious, racial or other differences. It is essential to understand that a lot of time may pass between the moment when you become a member of the Registry and the time when you are actually asked to help as the patient who needs your help may arrive years, or even decades, later. USEFUL INFORMATION
Bone marrow cells are located in different bones but, mainly, in pelvic bones. Besides, they can also be found in peripheral blood, in umbilical cord blood of new-born babies and in placenta.
There are two potential sources of obtaining donor cells:
- bone marrow or blood of an adult;
- umbilical cord blood and placenta.
At the moment bone marrow cells are obtained in two ways: from bone marrow and from blood. 1. Obtaining Cells from Peripheral Blood
The procedure takes place in a collection centre. At first, a special substance called colony-stimulating factor is administered to a donor for four days by means of subcutaneous injections; this causes hematopoietic cells to move from the bone marrow into the blood stream. On the fifth day the donor gets a catheter installed in his or her vein. He or she is then connected to the blood separator, a special device that collects hematopoietic cells. During the procedure the donor's blood several times passes through the separator which collects hematopoietic cells into a special bag. The procedure lasts from five to seven hours; during this time the donor rests relatively still (however he or she can read, watch TV). Cell collection procedure is painless and causes no discomfort to the donor who can go home several hours after the cell collection procedure is over. 2. Obtaining Cells from Bone Marrow
This procedure also takes place in a collection centre. Bone marrow is obtained from iliac and sacral bones and is collected into a special plastic bag. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia in an operating room and lasts, on average, from 40 to 50 minutes. When it is over the donor remains in the clinic for several hours under medical care, after which he or she may go home.
Whatever the collection method, not more than 200—300 ml of hematopoietic cells are taken from a donor, which is quite enough for bone marrow transplantation. The donor's blood formation takes 7 to 10 days to get restored. Adverse Reactions
The Registry aims to provide high-quality and safe donor bone marrow cells, while preserving the health and well-being of donors. The donation is a medical procedure which, as any medical procedure, may involve certain risks. However more than 99% of donors face no complications after donation. The registry employees including doctors evaluate all donors' reactions connected with bone marrow cells donation. Apart from that donors can always get the necessary advice if they have questions or doubts regarding donation. Obtaining Cells from a Vein
The administration of colony-stimulating factor may lead to fever and pains in bones and muscles that can be relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs and disappear when the substance is no longer administered. Obtaining Cells from Bone Marrow
There is some anaesthesia-related risk but it is no different from the risk caused by anaesthesia during any surgical operation (be it dentistry or surgery). There are very few chances for a healthy person to develop serious complications. Sometimes donors may be nauseated; bruises may appear in puncture spots. After the procedure there may be certain discomfort around bone punctures. Usually they are not relieved by painkillers.