Risks in donating peripheral blood stem cells

The donation of peripheral blood stem cells is not a surgical procedure, there is no anesthesia involved. The administration of G-CSF is usually well tolerated. Side effects such as headache and body aches have been reported. These symptoms usually respond to pain relievers and disappear shortly after collection. No significant long term side effects have been observed with the administration of G-CSF since the beginning of the use of its use in 1989.

Risks in donating bone marrow
The collection of the stem cells from the bone marrow is a surgical procedure that takes place at a hospital and is being performed under general anesthesia and the risks are the same as those with any other procedure that involves a general anesthesia. The risk of serious complications for a healthy donor is very low but like in any other surgery there is a risk of infection.
Possible side effects of the collection may be local pain and discomfort for several days in the lower back as well as nausea because of the anesthesia.

In very rare cases allergic reactions develop after the treatment with G-CSF or the collection of bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells.

The donor will be given detailed information about the donation and possible side effects as well as an extensive medical examination to exclude risks for the donor’s health.

The decision to donate is voluntary
and donors may withdraw at any time. Potential volunteers should keep in mind though that there is a point in the process when the withdrawal might be fatal for the patient. One part of the preparing the patient for transplant is the destruction of the patient’s bone marrow and the patient will die without new healthy stem cells.

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