Methods of Donation

Posted April 8th, 2015 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories
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If you’re lucky enough to be Donor holds peripheral blood stem cells after donation procedure.chosen as the best matched donor for a patient in need, you will be asked to donate in one of two ways: Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) or marrow donation. A transplant physician chooses the method that is best for the patient.

PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure and the most common way to donate. For five days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of cells in your bloodstream that are used for transplant. Some of your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm.

Bone marrow donation is a surgical, usually outpatient procedure. You will receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone.

Want more donation information? Read about the basics of transplant.

21 Responses to “Methods of Donation”

  1. fernando marrero says:

    ITP develops and my spleen was removed 10 years ago, can I still be a donor?

    • Brenda Laukkanen says:

      The article “Donation Fast Facts” made donating easier to understand. So many people have no clue what it is all about. Thank you!

    • Terrence Farrier says:

      Donation Fast Facts is a way to help donors understand the processes for donation. I was considering not being part of the pool anymore until this information. You are doing the right thing…and for the right reasons.


  2. Shardae says:

    I don’t know. But I do know it doesn’t hurt to try anyway. Plus somewhere on the site they have a page with basic info for qualifications. You may be able to find it there.

  3. Deborah Quarles says:

    The article was very helpful; thank you for the information.

  4. Patty Johnson says:

    Thank you for the information. I had forgotten there were two ways to donate. Thank you for the reminder

  5. Tracy Norris says:

    Thanks for spelling out the details.

  6. Tammy Savage says:

    Thank you for this very helpful information. I pray one day I will be a match for someone in need.

  7. Ira Ehrlich says:

    What is the difference between a platelet donation I have given at the Red Cross and the PBSC that you guys do?

    • Jessica Mendez Jeffers says:

      PBSC is similar, using the process of apheresis, but selects and collects different cells. It is an amazing process. I have had my own stem cells collected this way for my first transplant. When I relapsed, I was lucky to have two perfectly matched siblings. My brother then underwent the collection process to donate his cells to me. There is a time before you collect in which you receive injections to increase production of your stem cells in your body.

  8. Glenn Klostermann says:

    Just a great way of staying connected, hopefully I will be able too donate and give someone a new beginning.

  9. Curri Ous says:

    Who pays for the procedure?

    • admin says:

      Hi there,
      Donors never pay for donating, and are never paid to donate.
      All medical costs for the donation procedure are covered by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which operates the Be The Match Registry, or by the patient’s medical insurance, as are travel expenses and other non-medical costs. The only costs to the donor might be time taken off from work.

  10. Jeanie Titus says:

    What are the ages that you can give. I maybe to old, but if I can donate I would love too. I had open heart surgery to replace my left mitro valve. I have an artificial heart valve & I’m on blood thinners. I will be 71 years old this coming July and it will be my 21st year of having this surgery. I just want to help some kid to have a healthy life.

    Jeanie Titus
    Wichita, KS

    • admin says:

      Hi Jeanie! Our age limit for the registry is 18-60 years of age. If you do not meet this requirement to be a donor, there are still many other ways to get involved! Visit for more ideas.

  11. Terri says:

    Do you cross reference with the DKMS data base for donors? I am registered with DKMS and have donated for them but was wondering if I should register with your organization or if you already have access to my information.

    • admin says:

      Hi Terri, thank you so much for registering to be a donor! Yes, anyone registered under DKMS is listed under the Be The Match registry.

  12. Lezlie says:

    I am wondering how you match patients with donors? I have been on the registry for a few years and wonder how this works. Is it thru the place I donate blood, that you have some sort of demographic you look at first, then go from there for further testing?
    Thank you!

  13. Linda Smith says:

    Do you ever make exceptions for donors? I am 70 years old in good health and still working.

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