Bone Marrow Donation

Bone marrow donation

The procedure

This method is used 10% of the time.

A surgical procedure which normally involves being placed under general anaesthetic. This process is rarely used today but if you are asked to donate using this method, it is likely that the patient receiving your bone marrow is a baby or child which makes it extra special knowing you can save a child’s life! A special needle and syringe is placed into the pelvic bone cavity (back of the hip) to withdraw the bone marrow. It sounds painful but you won't feel it at the time and the dull aches you feel afterwards usually fade away within a few days and are helped by taking paracetamol like Panadol. Your body will also replenish the bone marrow that was taken so you do not lost any part of you. The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete and you can usually return home the same or next day!

There are no costs to you to donate your bone marrow. All that is asked of you is your time and commitment. There are forms and questionnaires you will need to fill in and some routine tests, your donor centre coordinator will give you all the necessary information and you will be supported every step of the way. Your health is very important and your medical team will never put you through a procedure if they believe you are not healthy or fit enough, all the necessary checks are done beforehand.

After the procedure

You may feel some pain in the lower back of the hip region, much like a dull ache. This can be helped with paracetamol such as Panadol and normally wears off after a few days. Most people are back to doing their regular activities in that time. 

What happens next?

Your stem cells will be sent off to save your matching patient’s life! 

Something that is so simple means the world to the patient and their family! You will be very proud of yourself and it will no doubt be an experience that can not only save a life but also change yours.

Click here to read some first-hand stories from people who have donated their stem cells.