Finding a match: The basicsFor a successful transplant, the tissue type of a bone marrow donor or a cord blood unit needs to match the patient’s as closely as possible. Special testing determines whether a patient and bone marrow donor or cord blood unit are a good match. The closer the match, the better for the patient.
Race and ethnicity matter in tissue matchesBecause tissue types are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Adding more donors and cord blood units from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the NMDP Registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need.
Your heritage can make all the difference. If you are from one of the following communities, you are urgently needed as a bone marrow donor or cord blood donor:
- Black and African American
- American Indian and Alaska Native
- Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
- Hispanic and Latino
- Multiple race
- Does donating marrow hurt? Are there side effects?
- Marrow donation is done under general or regional anesthesia so the donor experiences no pain during the collection procedure.
Discomfort and side effects vary from person to person. Most marrow donors experience some side effects. Common side effects of marrow donation include:
- Lower back pain
- Stiffness when walking
- Bleeding at the collection site
Some donors said the experience was more painful than they expected; others said it was less painful. Some donors describe the pain as similar to achy hip bones or falling on their buttocks. Others say it feels more like a strained muscle in the back. The ache may last a few days to several weeks.
MYTH:All bone marrow donations involve surgery.
FACT:The majority of donations do not involve surgery. The patient's doctor most commonly requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical and outpatient. If marrow is requested, it is a surgical procedure, usually outpatient.
MYTH:Pieces of bone are removed from the donor.
FACT:Pieces of bone are not removed from the donor in either type of donation.
SO what do you say eh?