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Monday, March 30, 2009

Myths & Facts about Bone Marrow Donation

A lot of you have expressed concerns about Bone Marrow Donation. We have updated the blog with some Myth busters, I hope this is helpful. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us at HelpVishalMehta@Gmail.com.

MYTH:
The bone marrow donation procedure is painful.
FACT:
General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure. Donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation.

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.

A PBSC donation involves taking the drug filgrastim for five days leading up to donation in order to increase the donor's needed blood-forming cells. On the fifth day, blood is taken from the donor through one arm, passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells, and returned through the donor's other arm.

In marrow donation, no pieces of bone are taken; only the liquid marrow found inside the bones is needed to save the patient's life.

MYTH:
Donating bone marrow is dangerous and weakens the donor.
FACT:
Though no medical procedure is without risk, there are rarely any long-term effects from donating. Only five percent or less of a donor's marrow is needed to save a life. After donation, the body replaces the donated marrow within four to six weeks.

The NMDP screens all donors carefully before they donate to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. The NMDP also educates donors, answers questions every step of the way and follows up with donors after donation.

MYTH:
Bone marrow donation involves a lengthy recovery process.
FACT:
Due to taking the drug filgrastim, PBSC donors may have symptoms such as headache, bone or muscle pain, nausea, insomnia or fatigue in the five days leading up to donation. These symptoms nearly always disappear one or two days after donating, and the donor is back to normal.

Marrow donors can expect to feel fatigue, some soreness or pressure in their lower back and perhaps some discomfort walking. Marrow donors can expect to be back to work, school and other activities within one to seven days. The average time for all symptoms to disappear is 21 days.

MYTH:
Donors have to pay for the donation procedure.
FACT:
Donors never pay for donating. All medical costs are paid by the patient's medical insurance or by the patient, sometimes with NMDP assistance. The NMDP reimburses donors for travel costs, and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for clearing many doubts that I had about Donating bone. Everything is clear so now I know if I should take that chance or not

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for clearing this up!

    ReplyDelete