Health Team

Bone marrow registry gets boost from Raleigh blood donation center

Posted October 8, 2014

— Many people want to help others fighting blood cancers like leukemia, and thanks to facilities like the Rex Blood Donation Center in Raleigh, getting on a bone marrow donation registry is easier than ever.

The center can process bone marrow donor registrations five or six days a week, and donors can sign up even if they don’t come to the center to donate blood.

Sean Hall, a regular at the donation center, said he was surprised at how quickly he was able to get on a marrow donation registry.

“It was just a short, quick form to fill out and then the cheek swabs, and that was it,” Hall said.

The form includes personal health and contact information, and the cheek swab collects the donor’s DNA.

The information is entered into the national bone marrow registry to help blood cancer patients find suitable matches.

“The more people we get on the bone marrow registry, the better, and the more matches we can find,” Emilie Sanders, the coordinator of Rex Donor Services, said.

Delete Blood Cancer, an organization that works with the donation center, said a blood donation center is a good place to find bone marrow donors.

“Because the blood donors have the heart so save lives this is just another step for them to take in the process of getting on the registry,” he said.

If officials discover a good match, bone marrow donors would go the nearest collection site.

“You really have to be ready to, I guess, make a little more significant commitment if you get called,” Hall said. “But, you know, I’m confident. I feel good about that. To be able to provide that because someone needs it is pretty exciting.”

Doctors use needles to withdraw liquid marrow from both sides of a person's pelvic bone. The procedure requires anesthesia and takes place at a hospital. A typical stay in the hospital to donate bone marrow is from early morning to later afternoon.

Only people 18 or older who weigh more than 110 pounds and are in good general health can donate blood or get on the bone marrow registry.


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