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bone marrow Donors -

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are there age requirements for private testing?

    No, The donor is basically purchasing a test result. Kashi does not have age and health restrictions.

  • Can my children who are under age 18 be privately tested to see if they match a family member or friend?

    Yes, you can authorize testing for any child who is under the age of 18 as long as you are their legal guardian and you sign our Release/Consent for testing minor children as indicated on the Kashi Clinical Laboratories' "Private Test Requisition (Consent) Form"

  • Why are there age restrictions to join a Registry and not for private testing?

    In Private Testing once a match is identified the Doctor will determine if the potential donor is the "perfect" match and medically sound for the donation process.

    For Registries an individual must be 18 to donate because donation is a medical (for PBSC donation) or surgical (for marrow donation) procedure and the person undergoing the procedure must legally be able to give informed consent. A guardian or parent cannot sign a release or give consent for someone under age 18, because unrelated marrow donation is a voluntary procedure and is not directly beneficial or life-saving to the volunteer donor.

  • If I'm over 60, why can't I join a Registry?

    The age guidelines are in place to protect donors and provide the best treatment for patients:

    Donor safety: As one ages, the chances of a hidden medical problem that donation could bring out increases, placing older donors at increased risk of complications. Since there is no direct benefit to the donor when they donate, for safety reasons most Registries have set age 60 as the upper limit. It is important to note that the age limit is not meant to discriminate in any way.

  • Who would NOT be suitable to be a donor?

    Below is the list of most common medical conditions, adapted from Be The Match, that may make a person medically ineligible to be a suitable donor for bone marrow transplantation. For a complete and updated list of preclusions, please refer to the link here.

    - Diagnosed HIV
    - Arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic arthritis
    - Asthma requiring regular/daily use of oral (pill) steroids
    - Autoimmune Diseases including:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA); Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); Fibromyalgia; Multiple sclerosis; Psoriasis; Vitiligo; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Idiopathic thrombocytic purpura (ITP); Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS); Sjogren’s syndrome; Iritis / Episcleritis; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis; Raynaud’s phenomenon; Ankylosing spondylitis
    - Chronic back pain requiring ongoing medical treatment
    - Herniated, bulging or slipped disc anywhere along your spine diagnosed in the past 2 years
    - Back surgery in the past 2 years
    - History of a spine fracture, if caused by bone disease, at any time
    - History of a spine fracture in the past 2 years, if caused by injury
    - Placement of rods or pins for scoliosis
    - History of a hip or pelvic fracture and/or repair
    - Brain injury or surgery in the brain tissue
    - Serious breathing problems such as emphysema, sleep apnea or cystic fibrosis
    - Cancer: All forms of cancer are not acceptable except any of the followings:
               - Cured, local skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell)
               - Healed melanoma in situ
               - Healed cervical cancer in situ
               - Healed breast cancer in situ
               - Healed bladder cancer in situ
    - Diabetes: If requires insulin or any injected medications
    - Heart disease or stroke
    - Diagnosed Hepatitis B or C (or carrier); cirrhosis or Wilson’s disease
    - Serious or chronic kidney problems such as polycystic kidney disease or glomerulonephritis or removed kidney due to disease
    - transplantation with human organs such as heart, lung, liver or kidney; or Marrow or blood forming cells or Xenotransplant (live tissues from animals).

    Please note that Age and Pregnancy factors may play a role in becoming a donor.
    Age: While there is no age limit for private HLA Typing, younger donors are more suitable as they produce higher quality stem cells.
    Pregnancy: You may be tested while pregnant, but you will not be able to donate until you are fully recovered from the delivery or cesarean section.

    These are the common conditions that will preclude people from donation. There may be other conditions as well. Please check with your own doctor if you question whether you can be a donor.

  • And it only takes a simple cheek swab to get started?

    Once the consent form is signed, YES. It's that simple. If a donor is a potential match on the basis of the initial (first level) test, a second (second level) test will be conducted for more detailed assessment. Some labs are now able to store the initial sample to be used for "second level" testing when there is a "first level" match. Potential donors are notified, and their consent is obtained before any additional testing is done.

  • What is meant by a simple cheek swab?

    HLA Testing is performed using molecular testing methodologies for the A, B and DR antigens. A special sponge-tipped or soft brush swab is used to collect tissue from inside the cheek.

  • Are there any risks?

    As with any medical procedure, there is a small amount of risk associated with marrow or stem cell collection. Complications are extremely rare but could include anesthesia reactions, infection and transfusion reactions, or injuries at or around the needle insertion area. A number of questions are asked at the time individuals volunteer to be tested to ensure they are in general good health.

  • Does the donor have to travel to the patient's location? How is the marrow transported?

    The Marrow/stem cell collection is performed at a local hospital convenient to the donor. The donated Marrow/stem cells are then hand-carried to the patient's transplant center.

  • Are donors paid?

    There is no monetary compensation for the donation.

  • Do I need a doctor's order for private testing?

    No, you do not need a doctor's order for private testing.  The transplant center who has requested the HLA Testing serves as the doctor's order.  You can order a stem cell HLA Typing test directly through us here at or by contacting Kashi Clinical Laboratories.  We would be glad to assist you.

  • Are donors sought only for American patients?

    No, the patient could live anywhere in the world. Many American patients also have received successful transplants from international donors.

  • How do I join the Be the Match Registry once I have my results from Kashi?

    Once you have your Kashi typing results, you will need to contact Be The Match (1-800-627-7692) and say that you have your HLA Typing and want to join the Registry to donate for any patient in need.

    At that point a Be the Match staff person will ask for your mailing information.

    You will receive a consent form in the mail. The consent form needs to be completed, signed and returned along with the copy of your HLA Typing.

    Once the completed form is received, Be The Match reviews the medical information you provide.

    If the information meets the requirements to join the registry, you will be listed as a Registry Member. There is no cost for this service.

  • How is bone marrow collected?

    The marrow you donate is removed with a surgical needle from the back of your pelvic bone. All marrow donors receive either general or regional anesthesia to minimize any discomfort. Usually four to eight tiny incisions are made in the pelvic area. The incisions are so small that stitches are unnecessary. The procedure lasts between 45 and 90 minutes. Typically, the donor enters the hospital on the day of the marrow donation and remains for several hours or overnight to minimize any discomfort. The amount of marrow taken depends on the weight of the patient, but the donation does not affect the donor's blood platelet count or health of the immune system. The donated marrow is generally replenished by the donor's own system within one month.

  • How are stem cells collected?

    A donor of peripheral blood stem cells receives one injection of the prescription drug Filgrastim per day for four to five days. Filgrastim increases the number of stem cells released from the bone marrow into the blood stream. The stem cells are collected from the bloodstream at a blood center or hospital through a process called aphaeresis. The donor's blood is removed through a sterile needle placed in a vein in one arm and passed through an aphaeresis machine that separates out the stem cells. The remaining blood, minus the stem cells, is returned through a sterile needle placed in a vein in the other arm.

The information presented in these FAQs is not meant to be, nor should be taken as, medical advice.  Kashi Clinical Laboratories strongly encourages you to consult a qualified physician before using the information, products and services available on this website.

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