You could be that 1 in 10,000 match! It is nearly impossible to find another alternative because your HLA is unique. 12 characteristics of the HLA are evaluated which have to match with the patient, which makes it even more difficult. You are the only hope for the suffering life.
Will my religion permit?
Blood stem cell donation is similar to blood donation. So there are no religious interferences. Moreover, no religion restricts saving another life.
Will blood stem cell donation affect my fertility?
Irrespective of gender, there has been no reported cases or research evidence that suggest adverse effect on fertility. Stem cells donation does not influence or affect fertility.
Won’t I be deprived of blood or blood stem cells if I donate?
Your body will not be deprived of blood stem cells. The 5 days of GCSF injection increases the number of stem cells in the blood stream in your body. The ‘extra’ blood stem cells will be collected for the patient. During blood stem cell donation only stem cells are collected; the remaining components of blood (RBC, WBC, platelets) are returned to the body. The donated stem cells will be replaced within a few weeks.
I am a woman, if I donate my blood stem cells/bone marrow, will it affect my state of pregnancy?
No. Before you go to make a donation, a pregnancy test is done and if it is positive you will not be permitted to donate. But you can be a blood stem cell donor one year after child birth.
Can I opt for the type of donation (Bone marrow/PBSC ) or do I have to follow the method that doctor advices?
Doctors will be the right judge to determine whether one can have a PBSC method or Bone Marrow method of donation. However, the final choice is that of the donor’s.
Does donating blood stem cells have short-term or long-term effects on my body?
There has been no long term side effects reported. Less than 10% of donors face flu-like symptoms. This is due to G-CSF which increases the number of white blood cells in the blood stream that in turn “attack” the already existing unwanted cells in your body as a protective mechanism. The symptoms are alleviated with a prescribed paracetamol.
Will my medical condition interfere in me being a donor?
Potential donors who have tested positive for HIV, Type 1 diabetes, or have had epilepsy, or currently pregnant cannot donate. To know more in detail about exclusion criteria please see (link).
Do I have to be on certain medication after donation?
No, it is not required. In case, if it is required then the doctor will advise.
BLOOD STEM CELL DONATION MYTH BUSTERS
What are blood stem cells?
Blood stem cells are immature primitive cells that have the capacity to multiply and mature into different types of blood cells such as
Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of the body
White blood cells, which help fight infection
Platelets, which help control bleeding
Why is it important to become a donor?
A patient has only 25% chance of finding a HLA matched donor within the family. Those who do not find a match within the family have to rely on a registry like DATRI to find a HLA matched unrelated donor willing to donate their blood stem cells. There are more than 1500 patients in the DATRI’s database who are still waiting for a match. You could be a life-saving match to such a patient and can gift them a chance to survive. If you are not registered with DATRI, chances are you might be a lifesaving match for someone and we will not be able to find you.
What is the difference between bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell donation ?
When blood stem cells are collected from the bone marrow, it is called bone marrow donation. If the blood stem cells are collected from the bloodstream, the procedure is called peripheral blood stem cell (PSBC) donation.
Is blood stem cell transplant a 100% cure for the patient / what are the survival chances for the patients?
The chances of survival for children is 80% and adults is 60%. It also depends up on the severity and the stage of the disease.
How is blood stem cell donation different from a cord blood transplant?
In a cord blood transplant the cord blood stem cells are collected and stored in a cord blood stem cells bank, but in a blood stem cell donation, blood stem cells are collected only when there is a matched donor and at the time of treatment.
What are my responsibilities as a donor?
Patients rely on the donor with a lot of hope to recover. So if you are found to be a match, willingly donate your blood stem cells, as you are the ONLY one who can save the patient’s life.
Why does DATRI need monetary donations?
DATRI is a not-for- profit organization registered as a Section 8 company. We depend on monetary contributions to add potential donors to the registry, to help donation process and to support our operational expenses.
What are the eligibility requirements for potential donors?
There are 3 (three) requirements,
You must be between the age of 18 and 50 years.
You must fulfil the healthguideline–free from diseases like HIV, Hepatitis, cardiac illness, auto immune disorders, chronic lung disease etc.
Most important, you should have a kind heart to help someone in need.
What is a cheek swab / buccal swab?
A cheek / buccal swab, is a non-invasive way to collect cells from the inside of a person’s cheek, which are used to do the HLA typing of a donor.
Is my data confidential? How is the data stored?
Yes, donor data is confidential. The data is encrypted and stored in a secure database.
How long does it take for my HLA information to be added to the DATRI registry?
It takes about 5 weeks for the HLA typing results to be added to the registry.
I am a regular blood donor? Can I donate blood stem cells?
Yes, you can donate.
I am going to be married soon. Will donating blood stem cells affect my family life?
Donating blood stem cells does not interfere with your normal routine nor your family life. All our donors are leading a normal life.
Are there any side-effects caused by the injection GCSF?
Some donors experience slight headache, nausea or body ache during the 5 days of the GCSF injection. This decreases using a paracetamol prescribed by DATRI physician. Nolong- term side effects have been recorded.
For more Q&As, Click below to download the complete Q&A handbook.