About Stem Cell Donation
A bone marrow transplant can help save lives. That is why there is a bone marrow registry that accepts bone marrow stem cell donations. If you’re looking to donate yours, but have some qualms about the procedure, then do not fear. I will provide the information and the answers to the most frequently asked questions about stem cell donations in this article.
How Long Does It Take to Donate?
That is a really good question.
To account for the time that it needs to take certain procedures and examinations to assess your eligibility to donate your own bone marrow stem cells, you should allow about 20-30 hours for the donation procedure.
Do not worry, though, as the hours are spread over a 4-6 week’ period. Do note that the time does not account for air flight travel as well as your stays in the hotel.
What is the Difference Between PBSC and Bone Marrow Donations?
The major difference in its extraction process is that the former requires you to only take some medication to increase the number of stem cells that is found in your bloodstream (for easy extraction).
The latter involves a surgical procedure which uses general anesthesia so that it remains pain-free all throughout. Both are outpatient procedures which means that you can go home after it is done.
Are There Any Side Effects?
To be honest, it varies from person to person. Some donors said that the procedure was more painful than they’ve thought while others do not report any pain whatsoever.
Be that as it may, some of the common side effects of donating your bone marrow include a general feeling of Fatigue, Muscle and Back pain (especially near the area of extraction), headache, and nausea.
Of course, it also varies upon your pain threshold. You could experience some minor aches and pains, but we all know that those two things are relative for each person.
Why is the PBSC Donation ‘still’ considered as Investigational?
The peripheral blood stem cell donation is still considered investigational since it still requires a lot of research to truly say that it has a profound effect on the patient’s body.
These stem cells purportedly restore the blood cells that are lost in the body, especially after a chemotherapy session.
Even though it is still considered as such, patients who have received PBSC donations have reported a better quality of life after the treatment.
Does PBSC Donation Hurt?
That depends if you’re uneasy with the notion of getting some IV catheters inserted in your veins. Other than that, the process of extraction is generally painless.
You might experience some side effects after the procedure like a headache and nausea, but they usually go away after a day or two. In other words, their side effects are not long-lasting compared to bone marrow stem cell donations.