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The Risks and Side Effects of Donating Bone Marrow

hat if you’re thinking about giving bone marrow to someone who has cancer or another disease and needs your stem cells? Although donating your stem cells to a person in need is a good idea, it is essential to understand the risks and side effects related to it as well. Just like any medical procedure, every treatment has some pros and cons. So, if you have made up your mind to donate bone marrow, make sure you are familiar with the risks and side effects as well. 

Understanding the Collection Methods

To understand the risks of donating bone marrow, it’s essential to talk a little about the process of getting bone marrow transplant from someone. Bone marrow is inside large bones in your body, like your hip. So, the doctor inserts a needle in your hip. The doctor gives you a general anesthetic in the operating room if you have surgery. 

The surgeon takes out about 2 liters of bone marrow during the procedure. This may seem like a lot, but it only makes up less than 10% of your bone marrow. The fact that your body makes more than 20 billion blood cells in your bone marrow every day. The number of cells in your bone marrow is usually back to normal in 4 to 6 weeks. But your body can still work just fine in the meantime.

The Possible Risks

Most of the risks of giving bone marrow come from having surgery. It is possible to have general anesthesia when you have surgery. There is also a chance that the procedure could hurt the nerves and blood vessels near the marrow and damage the bone where it is taken.

Mild side effects and risks

After donating, you may be sore in the area of your hip for a week or so. There was a lot of back and hip pain for a few days after giving bone marrow as part of the National Marrow Donor Program. There was also a lot of fatigue. People who have surgery may also get sick or have a sore throat. Other mild side effects and risks are:

  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding and infection
  • Mild Nausea
  • Bruising at the incision area
  • Achiness
  • Trouble walking for a few days.

Some medical centers say that people should take 7 to 10 days off after having surgery, but some people can go back to work right away. This could be done as an outpatient, or you could stay in the hospital for a while. The time to get back to “normal,” as measured by the median, was 20 days. This is the time after which 50% of people had, and 50% hadn’t done so.

Serious side effects and risks

The National Marrow Donor Program stated that 2.4% of individuals who donate bone marrow experience a serious complication. Most donors don’t have any long-term problems after giving their bone marrow away, but some do. Some severe side effects and risks include

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Pneumonia
  • Postoperative Confusion

Recovery Time After Bone Marrow Transplant

Right after the surgery, you will be shifted to a recovery room to rest and get better. The team will watch you for a few hours.

Most donors can go home the same day, but a few need to stay for a while.

You may be able to go back to your normal activities in a few days. A month could also pass before you feel like your old self again. Do not forget to read your hospital discharge instructions before leaving the hospital.

Some things you can do while you’re getting better:

  • Lightheadedness- It’s important to move slowly when you get up from a lying down or sitting position. 
  • Disturbed sleep– Eat more small, lighter meals. As soon as you feel well enough, rest and go to bed earlier until you do.
  • Swelling at the area of the surgery– Take a break from heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 7 to 10 days, then start again. There is a lot of swelling in the lower back. 
  • Stiffness– Stretch or go for a few short walks every day until you build up your strength and flexibility, then do both.
  • Fatigue– Rest assured that it will be over soon. 

The Advantages of Having a Donating Bone Marrow

When you’re thinking about anything, it’s important to think about both the risks and the benefits. Some people may get sick or die. The bone marrow transplant cost in India for your donation can be priceless to the people who could benefit from it, though. Some people don’t want to donate, and you must honor yourself in any decision you make.

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