Is it going to hurt?

Mike Conley – marrow donation doesn’t hurt as much as you think.

It’s not very painful to save a life

There are two donation methods:

1. Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC)
PBSC is a nonsurgical procedure, called apheresis.

  • Leading up to a PBSC donation, donors may experience headaches, or bone or muscle aches, due to side effects of the filgrastim injections. These aches will go away shortly after the PBSC donation.
  • On the day of a donor’s PBSC donation, blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that will collect only the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through a needle in the other arm.
  • Most PBSC donors report a full recovery within 7 to 10 days of donation. Be The Match will follow up with donors until they report a full recovery.

2. Bone marrow donation
Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure that takes place in a hospital operating room with anesthesia. During this procedure, you will feel no pain. Less than 5% of the donor’s marrow is needed, and because it is so little, your immune system stays strong.

  • Common side effects of marrow donation reported 2 days after donation: Back or hip pain 84%, Fatigue 61%, Throat pain 32%, Muscle pain 24%, Insomnia 15%, Headache 14%, Dizziness 10%, Loss of appetite 10%, Nausea 9%.
  • The median time to full recovery for a marrow donation is 20 days.