Important Things That You Need To Learn About Bone Marrow Transplant
- By: Julie Lowry
The bone marrow transplant procedure can be a painful time for most patients. It is a comparatively new procedure having only been first successfully pioneered in 1968. Bone marrow transplants save a large number of lives every year, though regrettably many that need the procedure are not able to get it because of the short list of available donors. Bone marrow transplant data shows that over 70% of those that could take advantage of this surgery are not able to find a donor in time.
Bone marrow transplants entail extracting a certain kind of cell known as stem cells from inside the bone marrow of the donor which are then filtered and either given back to the same patient or given to another. Stem cells develop into blood cells, these are essential for many procedures within the body and without them an individual will die fairly quickly. Should a persons bone marrow stop creating cells or a child be born without the power to generate the cells properly a bone marrow transplant is the sole method to save their lives. As medical care in the USA is so biased to the rich many cannot afford this life saving surgery or perhaps will have to depend on charity programs to have the care they need.
There are 2 types of bone marrow transplants available today: an autologus bone marrow transplant and an allogenic bone marrow transplant. As stated the difference in these is the bone marrow harvest procedure either is from the patient themselves or another source. The National Marrow Donor Program Registry may be used to get a donor in the event that family members or friends are not suitable. The bone marrow donor procedure of getting a match tends to be less successful for minority groups because an unrelated but still similar ethnic match is usually closer to the recipients own tissue traits. You will find three acceptable sources for the stem cell transplant process to have optimum chance of succeeding. Direct bone marrow harvest, aphresis, or in umbilical cord blood. The most typical is aphresis which accumulates the stem cells by filtering the blood and collecting loose cells that may be circulating. This is usually used because it has the best result for both donor and patient as well as being the most affordable to perform given that there is no need for anesthetists or surgery.
The experience during the bone marrow transplant procedure is different for both donor and recipient. The donor will receive injections for a few days prior to receiving aphresis with the effect that the medicine utilized helps to get stem cells released from the bone marrow for gathering. The stem cells are then collected through an intravenous needle extraction process through one arm and then returned once filtered into the other arm. This needs almost no recovery afterward, but a direct bone marrow harvest is quite different. The patient will be anesthetized in the operating room whereby a special needle will be used to remove the bone marrow straightly from the hip or breast bone, once awake the donor might feel pain from the injection site.
If a donor is part of a charity project they may not have costs for the procedure or their health care may cover it. The recipients quest is not so easy. Often they must withstand a lengthy chemotherapy procedure to eliminate their own bone marrow in order that there is room for the new bone marrow to develop. The new stem cells are received intravenously and may also come with a blood transfusion as the body will be vulnerable while the bone marrow is low.
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