How to be a stem cell donor | AN Guide

How to be a stem cell donor | AN Guide



Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer if you're on the Anthony Nolan stem cell register and you come up as a match this is what would happen next when someone anywhere in the world needs a stem cell transplant we search our register of brilliant potential donors if you're a match we'll get in touch we'll ask you to go to your local doctors or hospital to give a blood sample which you send back to us for further tests to make sure you're the best possible match for the patient once we assure you're a match we'll let you know the exciting news and we'll chat on the phone about the details of donating next up we'll give you a full half checkup to make sure you're in tip-top shape we'll pay for all your transport to one of our specialist hospitals where you'll also go to donate about a week later we'll give you the go-ahead if everything looks fine and make arrangements for your donation including booking all your travel and a hotel for 90% of people they will donate via peripheral blood stem cell collection or PBS see where stem cells are collected from your blood stream for four days a nurse will come see you at home or work and give you a course of injections that stimulate your body to produce themselves you'll probably start to feel a bit achy that's as the stem cells emerge from your bone marrow and flood your blood stream they work to help your body repair so they're completely natural on the fourth day you and your companion will travel to the hotel to put your feet up for the night the next morning you go to our specialist hospital and your donation will begin you're connected to a PBSC machine which takes blood out of one arm filters the stem cells out and then returns the blood to your other arm this takes about four to five hours and you can't move too much so bring a pal who's good to chat soon and a boxset to get through when you've finished your bag of stem cells is taken to our labs check the count and if they're enough you can head home if we haven't collected quite enough then you'll need to pop back the next day for another session on the machine after your donation you'll probably feel a bit tired but this passes after a few days for 10% of people they donate via their bone marrow this is because it's sometimes better for the patient which is why we make sure when you sign up to the register you're happy to donate via both methods you travel to our specialist hospital with your companion where you'll stay for the night whilst your pal goes to a hotel the next morning you'll have a general anaesthetic and a short procedure where bone marrow is taken from your pelvis using a needle and syringe when you wake up you'll have two clusters and feel a bit bruised in the areas where the bone marrow was taken from you'll also feel tired after the anaesthetic for the next few days you might want to take some paracetamol and rest and you'll spend the day and one more night in the hospital recovery whichever method you donate by someone from Anthony Nolan will come to say a huge thank you and give you a goodie bag just to make sure you know your dude an amazing thing after you've donated your stem cells will be taken to the waiting patient who's had their immune system worked out in preparation for the donation they need your stem cells to kick-start their immune system into action and help begin their recovery your body replaces your donated stem cells quickly and you will have given someone a second chance at life you can help save the lives of people with blood cancer and we think that's incredible

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