How does stem cell donation work? Who can be the donor?

Only the healthy individuals will be able to donate the stem cells to the patients within his family or outside only if the blood group matches. The particular cell harvested in a patient from a voluntary donor will definitely help in rescuing the donor. The donor must have a perfect HLA or human leukocyte antigen that matches the recipient. The healthy stem cells of the donor replace the cancerous cell of the patient permanently. If the patient has taken himself in such a stage where all the conventional treatments have failed, ‘matched unrelated transplant’ or MUD becomes effective. Since getting a perfect donor who has everything matched with the patient is really difficult to get, even the other donors who have not reached to the critical stage will also get a wonderful remedy. Today, such transplants are really possible and can be successfully done in variety of centers.

Stem cell donation is a noble subject with the boost of medical science advances. Though this is a controversial subject to use the fetus, medical science does not take it as an ethically wrong treatment procedure. As the human right commissions and other social groups say using embryos for medical treatment procedure means sacrificing a life which can be a healthy baby and then a human being. But, the researchers prove that the embryo cannot be a life unless it is developed. Thus, there is no unethical term. The donations of stem cells are of two types. One is known as peripheral blood stem cell donation where as other one is known as bone marrow stem cell donation.

Who requires transplant?

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Your physician or the surgeon to who you are showing for a stem cell treatment will be able to point out when a patient requires a transplant. There are several life threatening conditions such as disorder of immune system, improper blood flow, lymph node cancers etc which will be effectively cured with the help of stem cell donation. Even the researchers have tested and come to the conclusion that cancer can be totally cured through the stem cell therapy. But, it is quite important to get HLA matched donor. It is possibly available in the family. But, if such donor is not available within the family, it is really important to search for a voluntary donor from outside who has matching feature. Today, many donors are available who have registered themselves for a social cause to save the life of many patients. You can now search it from the computerized database and get an appropriate donor.

Working of stem cell donation

It is calculated as a two stage procedure when you are going to get a match of patient with donor with the verification and speculation of their HLA identities. If you get a positive result at the preliminary stage, it will be really essential to reconfirm the low resolution test.  With the high resolution technology, reconfirmation of the low resolution test can be easily done. There are other additional tests which are really effective get an ascertainment of the health related status of an individual. Whether the donor is completely fit for the stem cell donation procedure is accessed by the team of expert who deals with the tests. Also the counselor will be associated with the process where the donor is counseled fully and an advance commitment in pen and paper is taken from the person for the particular program.

Time taken for the process of donation

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If the donor is engaged with any professional commitment at his work place, he needs to inform over there about his donation as 2 days at least will be required for the entire process of stem cell donation. The transplant unit will decide about the exact date of donation. The donor as well as the patient will be duly informed by the team. Also the unit of transplant will provide full transport facility to the donor from the place he will be starting and even after transplantation, he will be provided a drop to the place where he stays.  Only under the supervision of senior medical person, the entire donation procedure will be conducted. Usually, the donation is completed within the period of 4 hours.  The donor can go back home once he feels he is fit and can walk. There is no need for hospitalization under the process of stem cell donation.

People has a wrong concept that the donor has a life risk at the time of stem cell donation activity. But, in reality it is not.  The process is carried on in s safe as well as effective manner so that no one either of the patient as well as donor has a negative effect.  The modern as well as sophisticated technology does not puncture the bone marrow of the individual at all. Even after extracting the stem cell from his body, he will also get the small dosage of growth factor to replenish the stem cells once again.

Peripheral stem cell donation

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In this donation procedure, the blood from the donor is drawn with the help of a needle. The stem cells are then separated from blood and thereafter made an active return to the body with the help of another needle. The donor needs to have an increase of the blood stem cells. Thus, the donor is provided with under skin injection for 5 days with the content of granulocyte colony stimulated factor. This is a non surgical; procedure.

Bone marrow stem cell donation

The donation of stem cell under this procedure is surgical one. The donor will be provided with the anesthesia before performing the bone marrow stem cell donation process. Here the needle is inserted inside the spine to bring out the bone marrow. A hollow needle is used in this process. The surgical procedure takes times of about 45 to 90 minutes.

Who can be a donor?

The surgeon can easily get the stem cell for the patient if the matching donor is found. In general sense any one between the ages 18 to 35 years can be a donor provided he is having good health. There is no serious disease which he or she is suffering from. Generally the bone marrow is removed from the bone placed in hips of the donor and injected to the patient who requires the same.

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