Red Cross Hong Kong Red Cross Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service
Home > Bone Marrow Donation > Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will the donation cause any harm to the donor?
No. The donation process in general will take out less than 3% of the body’s total number of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Since HSC have the regeneration potential, the donated cell will be replenished by the body within a short period of time. Therefore, the donation will not affect the donor’s health or immune status. It usually does not have any long term sequelae.

2. Will the donation cause pain?
If selected bone marrow donation, 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.

If selected peripheral blood stem cell donation, some donors may experience pain, bruise over the needle puncture site.

3. Can the donors change their mind?
All donors registered in the registry are voluntary. They can have their names, removed from the registry at any time, and may refuse to have further blood tests. In view that blood tests are costly and the potential disappointment caused to patients, we would appreciate if prospective donors could consider seriously before registration.

4. Do the donors need to pay for any fee?
No. Donors are not required to pay for any fee in relation to the blood tests, body check up and hospitalization for donation.

5. May I know the identity of patient?
According to the international practice, the identities of the donor and patient will not be disclosed to each other. HKBMDR will provide the following basic information about the donor and patients i.e. sex, age group and category of disease.

However, if they both wish, the HKBMDR can arrange them to meet or contact to each other not less than one year after the transplantation. While during the first year of transplantation, both parties can only be contacted anonymously by mail through HKBMDR.

6. Is the HKBMDR database available to Hong Kong patients only?
No. Many countries have similar donor registries in place to provide unrelated donor search for their own patients. If a donor matches with an overseas patient or vice versa, he/she will not need to travel overseas to donate or receive the transplantation. The donation can be arranged in a local hospital in exactly the same procedure same as for a local patient. The only difference is that the donated haematopoietic stem cells will be stored and delivered to the recipient within the shortest possible time after collection.

Every year some Hong Kong patients are benefited from the overseas donation. At the same time, some Hong Kong donors give their haematopietic stem cells to overseas patients.

What is the chance of finding a matched donor? How long will it take?
The chance of two unrelated people having identical tissue types is very low. For local Chinese, the chances can range from one in few to many thousands. The more donors recruited, the greater the chance of finding a matched donor and the shorter the waiting time.
Chance of matched HLA typing Same parents – 1/4 chance for each sibling
Common type – 1 in 5,000 to 10,000
Rare type – less than 100,000


[Terms Of Use] [Disclaimer]
© 2013 Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. All rights reserved.
15 King's Park Rise, Kowloon, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PRC.