Medical guidelines are always set to protect the life of the donor and the patient. If you are going to donate your own stem cells, then here are some things that you should know to safeguard yourself from harm and to protect your rights as an individual:
For people who are looking to donate their own stem cells, you need to be at least at the age of 18 up to a maximum of 44. Although you might think the age limit is some sort of discrimination, it is not.
The stem cell registries only aim to provide the best quality care for both the donor and the patient. Younger donors tend to give the best quality stem cells for use in treatments. This is by no means to discriminate anyone at all.
There are some cases where you are still allowed to donate even after the age of 44, provided that you will be screened and examined again.
If you have diseases that might be transferred to the patient, then you are not allowed to donate. Some of these diseases are as follows:
- Severe Osteoarthritis
- Severe Asthma (Stage 3 and onwards)
- Autoimmune Diseases that affect the entire body (Multiple Sclerosis, Severe Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc.)
- Significant Brain Injury
- If you Have a History of Heart Attacks
- Chronic or Serious Kidney Problems (Polycystic Kidney Disease or Chronic Glomerulonephritis)
- Serious Liver Diseases (Hepatitis B and C, Wilson’s Disease, etc.)
- Any Other Chronic Diseases
You are allowed to donate your stem cells if you have a relatively low BMI number. Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to see your general fitness levels.
People who are either underweight or overweight might have to be assessed even more if you are eligible to donate. This is just to protect your safety as the donor.
Tattoos/ Body Piercings
Unlike blood donation, you can still donate your own stem cells, provided that you will be assessed by a physician.
If you have hypertension, you can still donate, however, that is at the discretion of the attending physician. The same goes for people who have low blood pressure. Again, this is just to safeguard you from the potential risk of donation.
- There are two types of stem cell donations: PBSC and Bone Marrow. The first doesn’t require any surgical procedure, however, the second one does.
- Both are typically outpatient procedures, but you may have to stay in the hospital if there are any complications that spring up after the extraction process.
- You may experience some or all of these side effects: headaches, fatigue, nausea, soreness, aches, lack of appetite.
- Recovery is pretty quick. In fact, you can go back to doing your normal activities even after a day or two from the extraction date. However, your stem cells would require at least 2 months to fully recover.
Medical guidelines are there to help protect the life of both the donor and the patient. You have to be at least at the legal age of 18 up to 44 to donate your own stem cells. Any age above that will have to be assessed by the doctors and extraction is at the discretion of the physician.