There are thousands of people in the United States every year that need a life-saving bone marrow transplant. People can register with the National Marrow Donor Program in order to donate to someone in need.
Juhi Deolankar is a Urologist and Resident Physician. Having travelled internationally to treat patients, she is passionate about health on a global scale, and cares about raising awareness for bone marrow drives. Today, she provides guidance on the bone marrow donation process for people who want to donate.
- If you decide to donate bone marrow, you will have to go through some testing to find out if you are a match. First you will provide a check swab so doctors can test your DNA. Then, additional tests will be done to find out your HLA protein type. You will be matched with someone with a similar protein type.
- Before you donate, you will have a health consultation. A doctor will go through a medical evaluation with you and talk about your medical history. They may give you some more tests. You will also fill out consent forms, and the doctor will go through the procedure with you.
- When it comes to donation, there are two different ways of collecting cells, depending on what the recipient needs. Apheresis is when stem cells are filtered out of your blood, and this is a non surgical procedure. The other method is bone marrow harvesting, where you will be put under anaesthesia. Bone marrow is taken from the pelvic bone, and most people can go home on the same day. Both procedures are low-risk.