Considering the increasing cases of blood cancer, blood stem cell donation is an underrated process. Sadly, most people do not even know what blood stem cell donation is let alone its importance for a blood cancer patient. This is the last hope for a patient to survive. Also, blood stem cell donation is entirely different from blood donation. Onlymyhealth got in touch with Dr. Santanu Sen, Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist and Hemato Oncologist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital, Mumbai to bust some common myths about blood stem cell donation.
Myth #1 Donated blood stem cells won't be replenished
After a blood stem cell donation, the body regenerates blood stem cells and the process does not lead to a permanent loss of blood stem cells and the donor’s immune system will not be weakened. This is important due to the rising cases of blood cancer.
Myth #2 Stem cell donation is a tedious process
Peripheral blood stem cell collection or PBSC is the method with which blood stem cells are collected. This is similar to how blood platelets are collected which isn’t a tedious process. It takes about 4 to 6 hours in the complete process. Also, many people think that the donor is supposed to stay in the clinic for a day. It is also a myth. Just like a blood donor, the stem cell donor can also leave the same day.
Myth #3 Only same blood group person can donate stem cells
For blood stem cell transplantation, the blood group doesn’t have any role to play. A blood group or blood type is not important at all. To find a match, the doctors look out for the precise match of HLA characteristics or tissue characteristics. Precise match because it is nearly impossible to find a 100% match. It is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Interesting Fact: After receiving the blood stem cells, the receiver also receives the blood group of the donor. For example- the donor’s blood group is A+ while the receiver’s blood group is B+, then the receiver would become A+ after receiving stem cells from the donor.
Myth #4 Older people should not donate their blood stem cells
This is false. Any healthy person aged between 18-50 years can donate their stem cells. They would be registered and will be called whenever their donation is required. Also, their name remains in the registry until they turn 61.
Myth #5 People with an existing medical condition cannot donate blood stem cells
If you are a match for a patient you will receive numerous medical assessments before the donation and will be screened thoroughly to ensure you are a completely suitable and safe donor for the patient and that no communicable diseases will be transmitted to the patient.
Myth #6 Person with a tattoo is unsuitable for stem cell donation
Tattoo or even piercing doesn’t stop you from registering yourself to be a potential donor. It is totally fine. However, you may be checked for any underlying skin infection that tattoo ink may cause.
Myth #7 Bone marrow donation is very painful
No, there is no pain involved in the process of donating. As explained above, the process is simple and won’t harm your health in any manner.
There were some myths that the doctor busted. We all need to come forward and help the needy. There are so many patients who are in need of matching stem cell donor. If you choose to donate your stem cells, it can save a life.
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