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Bone Marrow Donation

Image: Bone Marrow Donation

Bone marrow is a thick, blood-like tissue found inside the cavities of the body's hollow bone. It consists of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) which have an important and property of self regeneration. They can produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood circulation. They continuously divide and differentiate into these blood cells to replenish day to day loss. The bone marrow is a tissue completely different from spinal fluid, spinal cord, or nervous system.

In certain diseases, such as leukaemia and aplastic anaemia, the bone marrow cannot function properly and the patients may suffer from anaemia, fever, frequent infections or excessive bleeding. Some of these can only be cured by eradicating the diseased marrow by chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then replacing with healthy HSC from a suitable donor.
A bone marrow donation involves the extraction of a small amount of healthy HSC from donor's bone (usually the hip bone) under general anaesthesia and storing it in a marrow bag for the subsequent administration to the recipient in a process similar to blood transfusion.
A Life Saver's Journey

Thank you for register as a bone marrow donor! At any moment from now until you’re 60, you could come up as a match for someone with blood cancer. But what happens then? Find out all you wanted to know about the two methods of donating here.

Bone Marrow Donation

Step One

2 – 3 weeks prior to donation:  Donor will be invited for Physical examination such as chest X-ray, ECG…..etc. Then we will review the workup report and confirm details of donation


Step Two

Admit to collection center one day prior to donation for pre-operation preparation.


Step Three

Donation day:Donor will be put under general anesthesia Two needles will be inserted into donor’s pelvis (not spinal cord) to collect bone marrow. The donor may experience some pain at the puncture site, fatigue or stiffness, usually without complication. In general, the pain will gradually be subsided and many donors do not require any pain killers. Since Haematopoietic Stem Cell have the regeneration potential, the donated cell will be replenished by the body within a short period of time.


Step Four

Post operation day: Donor will be under observation in the recovery room until stable.

A visit will be arranged by HKBMDR staff. Stay in hospital one more night for observation, then donor could be discharged on the day after operation.


Step Five

Generally, donor would be recovered and return to normal in two weeks. Intense exercise or physical activities are not encouraged during this period.


Step Six

Keep the hope alive! Thank you for making life-saving transplants a reality for patients!