There are thousands of people in India who suffer from rare blood diseases. Stem cells are proven to be a life saver in such cases. But not all patients are fortunate enough to have a suitable match in the family. Most of the patients opt for unrelated matched donors.
Stem cell donation can be done in two ways:
- Bone marrow donation
- PBSC (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell).
Bone marrow donation is generally a painless process where liquid marrow is extracted from the back of the pelvic bones using a surgical procedure. Less than 5% of the marrow id taken out from an individual and the bone marrow regenerates and replaces itself within four to six weeks of the procedure.
Anyone between the age of 18 and 60 who meets the required heath guidelines and is willing to donate is able to join the registry. Donors between the age of 18 and 44 are generally preferred as they have higher quality cells than older donors. Intravenous drug users, pregnant women, individuals with positive hepatitis B and C and people with certain heart conditions are not considered suitable candidates for stem cell donating.