The Truth..Bone Marrow Donation Painful? Possible?

  1. I am a CNA on a Hem/Onc floor. Daily I see people suffer from all sorts of cancers and are treated with BMTs who are from Be The Match registry. I would COMPLETELY commit to doing this as I have donated blood/plasma on a regular basis. I just feel like this could be my way to save a life besides just giving my daily hospital patient care. I started speaking to my friends, relatives, and spouse and they have all told me that it was a bad idea to do because of the fact that I am always working and going to school and you will never know when the match will pop up and you may have to decline. Also, they advised me that the procedure is extremely painful and dangerous due to a small percentage (less than 5% I looked up?!) of nerve damage and painful back sensations. After hearing that I felt really disappointed and discouraged mainly over fear of the unknown, even as a healthcare professional. I would be honored to have a direct impact on saving a life, but as a newbie as far as this procedure goes, I am just wanting to know how others have dealt with being matched as a donor - especially working in the healthcare field and how it changed your life. I also really wanted to hear from donors who have possibly had the actual bone marrow procedure verses PBSCD because I would totally commit to that. I am just really weighing out the pros/cons because I honestly would love to be a match and save a life.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   ChristineN
    At the facility I work at we do bone marrow harvests from donors (be it family or anonymous donors). Generally the donor is in minimal pain after the procedure, and is up walking around and eating soon after. Typically the only need Tylenol or a very mild pain medication to help with the discomfort. If they donated their own blood, we will give them an autologous blood transfusion after the procedure. Most go home either later the night of the procedure or the next AM. While I know complications can occur, I haven't seen it happen and most donors seem very comfortable
  4. by   SexyFloridaGirl
    I have been looking for people who have actually donated, and most everyone I spoke with said there was some pain associated with it. I really feel the need to register on Be The Match because of my own personal reasons, I am just hoping that it will be a positive experience. Thank you for your input!
  5. by   HippyDippyLPN
    I am registered on be the match, have been for almost a year. They tell you on the info page that chances for getting picked are slim, especially if you are Caucasian. I did it because my son had a brain tumor scare, thank god he didn't have one, but it got me thinking of all the kids that didn't get the good news and its the least I can do to register and maybe one day I can help save a life.
  6. by   IdislikeCODEbrowns
    I am a RN who recently donated through Be The Match registry, I have been on the registry for 5yrs and never got a call until this past dec. I was a perfect match for a middle-aged lady suffering from AML in Argentina. The recipients dr wanted peripheral blood stem cells so after a lengthy screening process I started neupogen injections for 5 days, on the day of donation and 4 1/2 hours of being hooked up to the apheresis machine they took a sample of my stem cells and noticed that my CD4 count was not high enough to match the recipients requested dosage. Ultimately I had to be taken to emergent surgery to have the marrow taken directly from my hips as this would positively have enough stem cells as needed for the patient, the courier was waiting for my donation to fly to Argentina so a decision had to be made quickly. The marrow donation was painful but not something I would never do again. So i went through both ways to donate..
  7. by   PediLove2147
    I am on the list, have been for probably 5 years and have never been called. I would absolutely do it though if they ever needed me. If you want to be on the list, sign up. It's not your family's decision.
  8. by   SexyFloridaGirl
    I have ordered the kit, I think this is my one opportunity that I could make a direct impact on the future of a life, not that I don't daily at work, it's just the knowing what the end result of my contribution to that specific patient. I cherish that moment when a patient comes back to the hospital looking for a specific nurse to cry, hug and say thanks for the little things while they were sick. I am Caucasian so I know there is probably a lower chance that I will even be contacted but I would be honored to participate in being the hope for someone who lost theirs from an illness.
  9. by   Nursescalltheshots87
    I just got a phone call today from a bone marrow registry stating that I am a match. I immediately was so excited to help. As nurses, we get to help patients every day, but this is in a whole new way. It looks like the recipient is a child, meaning that they will most likely prefer doing the true bone marrow donation with surgery. Wondering how long it took you to recover from yours? I work in the hospital and since it is a very active floor, I am worried about being able to care for my own patients!