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Stem Cell Transplant and Bone Marrow Transplant

Donation options - how are blood stem cells obtained?

At a Bone marrow donation a bone marrow-blood mixture is sucked out of the donor's iliac crest with a hollow needle. The bone marrow collection from the donor is carried out under general anesthesia.

Today the blood stem cells are in the most cases not taken from the bone marrow but from the donor's blood. For this so-called peripheral blood stem cell donation a naturally occurring messenger substance is injected into the donor for about a week, which causes stem cells to migrate from the bone marrow into the blood. The blood stem cells can then be filtered out of the donor's blood using what is known as stem cell apheresis. This procedure is reminiscent of dialysis, where the blood is fed into a machine and then returned to the body.

In some cases, stem cells are made from alien Cord blood used for a blood stem cell transplant. The umbilical cord blood is sought in large umbilical cord blood banks, so it does not have to come from the patient himself. This alternative is particularly suitable for patients for whom a suitable adult donor cannot be found.

More information about preparing the donor and how to proceed with the donation

Since blood stem cells are transplanted in all cases, the Designation blood stem cell transplant can be used regardless of the type of donation. However, many doctors and nurses still say "bone marrow transplantation (BMT)" when the stem cells come from a bone marrow donation Patients are usually done in the so-called "KMT ambulance".