You’ve seen the bone marrow donation process in medical dramas, right? As I recently discovered, the needle-to-the-hip donation is pretty outdated. Here’s why modern donation is a whole different ballgame.
A couple of months ago, I got a call from the [US] National Marrow Donor Program, letting me know that someone potentially needed me to be a donor. I think it’s important to help people out, but I didn’t like the idea of anyone sticking a needle in my bones, general anesthesia or not. To forestall any suspense, I was “released from the donation” — which is, I suppose, official terminology for “we don’t need you, after all.” Before I was released, however, I learned that my idea of donation was really outdated.
…Both procedures, bone marrow donation and PBSC, do essentially the same thing: harvest stem cells. The only difference is the degree of complication. So if you’re interested in being a donor, but scared of the pain or complication of a traditional bone marrow transplant, things have changed. Odds are the whole procedure doesn’t involve anything more complicated than sitting in a chair waving goodbye to your extra stem cells.
Source: “Bone Marrow Donation” Is Nothing Like I Thought It Was
There is some undisclosed blood thinner used in the PBSC method. I’ve only found one source stating that being on blood thinner would likely require you to stop taking the medication, which is to be expected. I’m interested to see if I can be a donor in 2015, though it’s likely to be the same story as blood donation 😦