How It Works

From swab to call: The process of becoming a bone marrow donor.

“What do I have to do to become a bone marrow donor?” It’s a question we hear all the time. So many people want to help, but they don’t know what the process entails. We’re here to help! We can dispel the myths and break down just what happens from the time you swab your cheeks to completing a lifesaving donation. It starts with a simple cheek swab. It’s easy and takes less than five minutes. That’s right. You could join the bone marrow donor registry and it only takes five minutes of your time to do so. You fill out your contact information, we will send you the swab kit and then you’ll follow the instructions to swab and send the kit back. Sending it back is very important, we can’t add you to the pool unless we have your swabs.

By joining the registry, you should be certain that you are prepared to donate when called

After all, just swabbing your cheeks is the best shot you can give to patients who are fighting for a second chance at life.

Swabbing

Swabbing is easy. And takes mere minutes. Think about that! Just a few minutes can help save someone’s life.

What happens with the swab? Using your cheek-swab sample, DKMS tests for Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) tissue markers. These protein ‘markers’ are found on most cells in your body. Once HLA markers are identified, your tissue type is entered anonymously into the national bone marrow donor registry – “the lifesaver list” -- and assigned a donor number. The database is linked to global registries, searchable for any patient around the world.

HLA Test

When a patient’s doctor starts the search for a matching bone marrow donor, they will generally look at 10 specific HLA markers to determine a match. Most require at least a 9 out of 10 match, but a 10 out of 10 is best. The closer the match, the better the chance that the patient’s immune system will recognize the donated cells as its own and allow them to grow and make new healthy blood cells. It is very hard for patients to find a matching bone marrow donor, and for a patient of color, it is even more difficult due to the lack of diversity on the national bone marrow registry.

DKMS Life Science Lab provide a high quality immunogenetic genotyping services.

Standby

Once you're on the registry, you are on standby to save a life. It’s. Awesome.

If called, you should be ready to donate, and willing to donate to any patient in need. You may be the only match for a patient in need. There are two ways that you can donate bone marrow, in order to do so you must be a perfect match for a patient in need. Once you are a match for a patient. The patient’s doctor chooses the method that promises the best outcome for the patient.

Answer The Call

We will reach out via phone call, text, and email if you’re a lifesaving match. Please make sure to update your information, in case you move or change your email address. A patient's life may be depending on you.

PERIPHERAL BLOOD STEM CELL DONATION

Read more about what she wants her recipient to know about why she stepped up to save a life.

In the event you are matched to a patient in need, you may need to travel to one of our nearest transplant centers. Most times we try our best to coordinate your donation in your home state. There may a case where your home state cannot host the donation because of timing or the lack of necessary tools. We work with various transplant centers in the United States. If you do need to travel, we will cover the expenses for you and a guest. We will organize everything for you. Prior to donation, you will be required to undergo a physical examination to make sure you are the best possible fit for the patient in need. If all goes well, you will move on to donate.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GO TO DONATE

THERE ARE TWO WAYS THAT YOU CAN DONATE BONE MARROW.

Once you are a match for a patient, the patient’s doctor chooses the method that promises the best outcome for the patient.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation

Through peripheral blood stem cell donation cells are collected from the bloodstream. To increase your blood stem cells prior to donation, you will receive daily injections of a synthetic protein called filgrastim on the four days leading up to and on the morning of the procedure. The actual donation can take from 4-8 hours over the course of 1-2 days. On the day of collection, the donor’s blood is removed with a sterile needle from one arm and passed through the apheresis machine that separates out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm. The cell collection is an outpatient procedure that takes about 6-8 hours over one day. This method is used for 75% of donations.

Donation

Bone Marrow Extraction

Through bone marrow extraction, cells are collected from the pelvic bone while you are under anesthesia. Marrow cells are collected from the backside of the pelvic bone (not the spine) using a special syringe. Donors receive general anesthesia so no pain is experienced during the extraction. This is a 1-2 hour, out-patient surgical procedure. This method is used for the remaining 25% of donations.

Recovery

Generally, donors will feel a little muscle soreness for a few days as if they just completed a workout. It is recommended to avoid lifting heavy objects for a day or two after donating. You should expect to return to work, school and most other activities within 1 to 7 days. Your marrow will return to normal levels within a few weeks. It’s important to note that bone marrow donor recovery times will vary depending on the individual and the type of donation discussed above.

PBSC donation recovery time: The median time to full recovery for a PBSC donation is one week (seven days).

Bone marrow donation recovery time: The median time to full recovery for a marrow donation is 20 days.

Note: Median time is defined as the middle number in a range of numbers. We will follow up with you until you report a full physical recovery.

IT IS EASY TO HELP. YOU CAN STEP UP ONLINE NOW.

¡Salvar vidas comienza aquí!

Inscribirse para tener a oportunidad de salvar una vida es emocionante, pero antes de comenzar, asegúrate de no haberte inscrito antes en algún otro centro de donación. Además, pedimos que todos los donantes que se inscriban estén dispuestos a donar a cualquier paciente. Finalmente, desplázate hacia abajo para conocer las dos maneras de donar.

¡Salvar vidas comienza aquí!

AVERIGUA SI ERES ELEGIBLE

Como donante inscrito de médula ósea, podrías ser llamado a salvar una vida en cualquier momento.

Actualmente resido en los Estados Unidos.

United States

Soy un miembro del ejército.

Ingrese su fecha de nacimiento.

Estoy en buena salud general.

¿No es seguro?

Hagamos una verificación rápida

Introduzca sus datos

¡Usted es elegible!

Siguiente paso... Completa el proceso de registro.

Gracias por preocuparte.

Si vives fuera de los Estados Unidos, comunícate con un centro de donantesen el país en donde vives.  

 

Podrías reunir los requisitos para inscribirte en una de nuestras oficinas internacionales:

or

o también puedes...

Haz una donación

Gracias por preocuparte.

 

Thank you for caring.

Debe tener entre 18 y 55 años de edad.

 

¡Pero todavía hay muchas otras maneras de ayudar!

Ayúdanos a recaudar fondos

o

Gracias por preocuparte.

Tienes que estar sano para ser elegible.

 

¡Pero todavía hay muchas otras maneras de ayudar!

Ayúdanos a recaudar fondos

o

Gracias por preocuparte.

Usted debe pesar más de 105 libras. y tienen un índice de masa corporal de 40 o menos.

 

¡Pero todavía hay muchas otras maneras de ayudar!

Ayúdanos a recaudar fondos

o

 

Hagamos una verificación rápida

Queremos asegurarnos de que ayudar a un paciente no afectará su salud. Revise la siguiente lista de criterios. Si no está seguro acerca de un requisito, no dude en llamarnos al 866.340.3

USTED ES ELIGIBLE PARA REGISTRAR SI USTED ES:

  • Entre las edades de 18 y 55
  • En buen estado general
  • Al menos 4'10" y pesa más de 105 libras, pero no excede un IMC máximo de 40.

USTED NO ES ELEGIBLE PARA REGISTRARSE SI TIENE:

  • HIV
  • Antecedentes de cirugía cardíaca o enfermedad cardíaca
  • Trastornos autoinmunes tales como lupus, artritis reumatoide, esclerosis múltiple o fibromialgia
  • Apnea del sueño, problemas respiratorios o asma severa (los inhaladores diarios son aceptables)
  • Diabetes que requiere insulina o medicamento inyectable
  • Hepatitis B o C
  • Enfermedad renal o hepática
  • Historia del accidente cerebrovascular, incluyendo TIA
  • Problemas crónicos o severos en el cuello, columna vertebral o espalda
  • Epilepsia u otras convulsiones dentro de un año
  • Historia de la coagulación sanguínea o trastornos hemorrágicos
  • Antecedentes de lesiones en la cabeza o conmociones múltiples
  • Antecedentes personales de cáncer (excepciones: fase 0 o melanoma in situ, cáncer de piel localizada en la mama, la vejiga, el cuello uterino y el curado, como el carcinoma basocelular o de células escamosas)

Si tiene preguntas sobre si su historial médico le impediría donar, por favor contacte donorrelations@dkms.org o 212.209.6700.

¡PODRÍAS SALVAR LA VIDA DE ALGUIEN!

She Became a Bone Marrow Donor and Saved a Life!
¡Tú puedes salvar la vida de alguien!


Aproximadamente el 70% de todos los pacientes que necesitan trasplantes de médula ósea se ven obligados a buscar un donante compatible fuera de sus familias. Mira este video para conocer cómo Madison dedicó su tiempo a salvar la vida de una desconocida. 

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