Check your eligibility
Your age, location and current health status are important. Check to see if you can become a blood stem cell donor.
Your age, location and health are importantSee if you are eligible
As a registered donor, you will be on standby to save life.
Do you live in the UK?
Are you between 17 & 55 years old?
Do you suffer from any of the following diseases or you belong to one of the following risk groups?
Before you register, please check that you are able to donate by looking at the list below.
You won‘t be able to register if you have/ have had any of the following:
- Heart diseases (e.g. previous heart attack, coronary heart disease)
- Lung diseases (e.g. severe bronchial asthma)
- Diseases of the haematopoietic system
- Severe kidney diseases
- Severe illnesses of the central nervous system
- Metabolic diseases (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus requiring treatment)
- Autoimmune conditions (e.g. rheumatism, Multiple Sclerosis)
- Severe infectious diseases, (e.g. HIV or AIDS, Hepatitis C, chronic Hepatitis B)
- Weight under 7 stone 12 lbs/50 kg
- Obesity (i.e. with a body mass index (BMI) > 40)
If you have or have had in the past, a chronic or serious condition, or take any medication regularly, please discuss this with a member of the Delete Blood Cancer UK team for initial guidance by calling us on T:020 8747 5620
Please enter your details
You are an eligible donor!
Thank you! You can become a potential donor! That’s it. You’re now on the road to becoming a lifesaving blood stem cell donor.
The two ways to donate
You must be willing to donate using either method. The patient's doctor chooses the method that is best for the patient.
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Donation
This is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that collects blood stem cells via the bloodstream. During the procedure, your blood is drawn through one arm and passed through a machine that filters out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through your other arm.
To increase your blood stem cells prior to donation, you will receive daily injections of a synthetic protein called filgrastim on the four days leading up to and on the morning of the procedure. The actual donation can take from 4-8 hours over the course of 1-2 days.
Possible Side Effects & Recovery
While taking filgrastim, you may experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches, bone and muscle aches and fatigue. Most side effects should subside within 48 hours of donating. Your stem cells replenish within one week.
Bone Marrow Donation
This is a 1-2 hour surgical procedure performed under anesthesia, so no pain is experienced during the donation. Marrow cells are collected from the back of your hip bone using a syringe.
Possible Side Effects & Recovery
You may experience some pain, bruising and stiffness for up to two weeks after donation. Within a week of donating, you should be able to return to work, school and many regular activities. Your marrow will completely replenish itself within 3-6 weeks.
About the collection methods
The odds are, you may never be called upon, but if you are, that’s when you alone will have the opportunity to give someone else a second chance of life by donating some of your blood stem cells in one of two ways. It's really important to read about the methods used to collect blood stem cells. If you are at some point identified as a tissue match for someone in need, you will be asked to donate some of your blood stem cells in one of two ways.
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection
This is when blood stem cells are collected from the donor’s blood stream by removing blood from one arm, running it through a machine that separates out the stem cells, then returning the blood to the donor through the other arm. Around 90% of donations are carried out using this method. This is a non surgical outpatient procedure and takes 4-6 hours.
Bone Marrow Collection
This is when the blood stem cells are collected from the bone marrow at the back of the hip bone using a special syringe. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic so that no pain is experienced. The collection itself takes 1-2 hours and most donors return to their regular activities within a week. This method is only used in around 10% of cases.
You will have a general anaesthetic and may be under anaesthesia for one to two hours depending on the time needed for the collection of the stem cells. The doctor will insert a special needle through two tiny incisions in the skin over the back of the hip bone (not your spine). The incisions are less than one-fourth of an inch long and usually do not usually require stitches. The collection itself takes round about 60 minutes, and you will be positioned lying on your front. Doctors use sterile needles to remove liquid marrow containing blood stem cells, roughly one litre, which is round about 5% of your bone marrow. Two weeks after donation, your bone marrow will have recovered fully, and the hip bone will have properly healed within six weeks.We will provide ongoing support and advice as we care about the details of your recovery after the collection process. We will contact you on a regular basis after your donation to ask about your physical condition and it is also important to contact us directly if you have any concerns or wish to discuss any symptoms you experience. You should expect a phone call on the day following your donation and then weekly until you report a full recovery. As part of your long-term aftercare, we will be in contact with you on occasion for the next ten years.
- Blood cancer can be curable if a lifesaving tissue match can be found.
- Even though there are over 23 million people on the worldwide register, this still isn’t enough because currently only 50% of people in the UK find their match!
- It is rare to find matching donors, so you may never be matched at all. But at least you will be on standby to save a life.
- Your blood stem cells will completely replenish themselves within 2-3 weeks of the collection.
- Your blood stem cells will never be stored, they last for around 72 hours and are delivered straight to the person in need by a special courier.
- 90% of people donate blood stem cells via a method that is often described by donors as a bit like giving blood.
- You will stay on the register until your 61st birthday!
- Around 25,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer every year (that’s one person every 20 minutes!)
That extra person your money enables us to register could be the vital tissue match that saves another person's life.
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