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What is Stem Cell Donation?

Q. What is the process of stem cell donation?

Ans. Blood is taken from the donor's arm with a needle, and flows into a centrifuge. This device filters out the stem cells, and the remaining blood is injected back into the donor with the same needle. Like bone marrow donation, the procedure takes place at the hospital or day clinic.

Q. What is the meaning of Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC)?

Ans. PBSC is an abbreviation of Peripheral Blood Stem Cells. Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation is one of two methods of collecting blood-forming cells for bone marrow transplants.

We have original blood cells produced by the actual bone marrow inside the bones. Other than this, our blood that circulates in the veins and arteries also carries bone marrow stem cells. They are known as peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC).

Q. What is Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation process?

Ans. The same blood-forming cells that are found in bone marrow are also found in the circulating (peripheral) blood. PBSC donation is a nonsurgical procedure, called apheresis. The donation takes place at an experienced blood centre or outpatient hospital facility

Q. How umbilical cord blood (UCB) is used to treat diseases?

Ans. Now-a-days, cord blood stems cells are used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, and blood disorders. In a cord blood transplant, stem cells are infused in to a patient's bloodstream where they go to work healing and repairing damaged cells and tissue.

Q. How baby's umbilical cord blood is useful?

Ans. When parents save cord blood in a family bank, they are reserving the options that the baby can use its own stem cells for an autologous treatment, or an immediate relative (sibling or parents) can use the stem cells for an allogeneic treatment.

Q. Can umbilical cord blood be used for other family members?

Ans. Umbilical Cord blood can be used not only for the child who donated it, but also first and second degree relatives, such as that child's siblings, parents or grandparents in the instance they are a qualifying HLA match. The matching process is much like matching for an organ or bone marrow transplant.

Q. Can cord blood be used to treat cancer?

Ans. At present cord blood stems cells are used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, and blood disorders. In a cord blood transplant, stem cells are infused in to a patient's bloodstream where they go to work healing and repairing damaged cells and tissue.

Q. What is the recovery time for a bone marrow stem cell donor?

Ans. The plasma from the donation is replaced within about 24 hours. The bone marrow and red blood cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement.

However bone Marrow and PBSC donors can start their normal routine life and get back to office work, school and start other activities within 1 to 7 days. It is important to understand that recovery time also depends on donor’s age and overall good health.

Q. Difference between Stem Cell and bone marrow transplant?

Ans. ‘Stem cell transplant’ OR ‘bone marrow transplant’ refers to stem cell transplantation.

When stem cells are collected from bone marrow and transplanted into a patient, the procedure is known as a bone marrow transplant. If the transplanted stem cells came from the bloodstream, the procedure is called a peripheral blood stem cell transplant—sometimes shortened to ‘stem cell transplant.’

Therefore transplants in both contexts are the same. The only difference is where in the body the transplanted stem cells came from.

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