Marrow Matters - Bone Marrow Transplant - Aplastic Anemia  
Aplastic Anemia

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Aplastic AnemiaBone Marrow Transplant




Clinical program that is responsible for all aspects of patient care and treatment, including the administration of cells with the intent of providing transient or permanent engraftment in support of therapy of disease.

  • Adult - An adult patient
  • Pediatric - A pediatric patient
  • Auto - Autologous transplant: Cells are taken from one individual and transplanted back into the same individual.
  • Allo - Allogeneic transplant: Cells are taken from one individual and transplanted into another genetically distinct individual.


Bone Marrow Donors

When a person needs a bone marrow transplant from another person, they are facing a life-threatening disease, such as Aplastic Anemia, for which their medical team has determined they either will only survive with a bone marrow transplant from a person with healthier bone marrow, or their chances of surviving will be greatly improved by the transplant.

does blood type matter for donor matching?

The donor and the receipients' blood types (such as types A+, A-, AB, O+) need not match, and in most transplants, the two blood types do not match one another.

The recipient of a bone marrow transplant whose blood type doesn't match his or her donor's blood type will eventually have a blood type change from whatever his or her blood type was originally to the donor's blood type.

A child doesn't inherit his or her blood group genetics and HLA genetics together. The gene (the DNA) for eye color is separate from the gene for one's blood group, as is the DNA for HLA.

What matches between donor and patient recipient before the two can be said to match for transplant?

Bone marrow donors are matched to the recipient patient's tissue type, not their blood type. The matching process is called HLA-matching. A secondary assessment is done to analyze antibodies, and determine what level of antibody differing exists between the donor and the recipient.

Why and who becomes a donor?

Typically, there are two predominent paths via which people become donors.

The most predominent means is the need of a family member. If a family member needs a bone marrow transplant, the first round of testing will be of his or her siblings. Parents are not tested initially, if ever, because they usually do not match one another and they usually only can match half of the potential-recipient's tissue type. Siblings have a 25% chance of matching. As probability has it, one out of 8 siblings won't match.

If there is no sibling match, the next search goes directly to the Bone Marrow Association. Time is usually of the utmost critical importance, because transplants usually must occur extremely quickly.

For that reason, it is so very critically important for people who wish to be considered as a potential donor to register with the Bone Marrow Registry. You just never know when the answer to the matching question will come up in a family, maybe yours, and need to be answered quickly.

You can register at

how is bone marrow taken for a donation?

Bone marrow can be extracted from a donor in several manners; the two most common methods of acquiring bone marrow from a donor are from the blood stream, and from the bone marrow.

A bone marrow transplant is usually accomplished by means of a transplant of blood stem cells. Blood stem cells produce blood cells. The body is full of blood stem cells; they are in the tissues, the blood stream, and throughout a person's body. A major number of blood stem cells exist in the bone marrow where blood cells are created. The bone marrow is the center portion of all bones. The largest bone marrow depositories in a person's body are in their hips and breast bone.

The numbers of blood stem cells that exist in the blood stream are insufficient for an effective bone marrow transplant. In cases in which doctors seek to extract blood stem cells from the blood stream, a drug is given to the donor that causes a proliferation of blood stem cells into the blood stream. Once there is a sufficient quantity of blood stem cells in the bloodstream, the donation of the stem cells is a simple matter of a giving blood.

Blood stem cell donations from the bloodstream are not the preferred method.

Blood stem cells taken directly from the bone marrow are more plentiful, and research has indicated that in some situations, bone marrow donations are much more successful.

Blood stem cell donations from the marrow are usually extrapolated from the hips in a place called the dimple. The donor is taken into outpatient surgery because they are put under anesthesia so that they cannot feel the aspiration of bone marrow. The process takes about 2-3 hours.

a tribute to donors

"Thank you" can have a multitude of meanings. To a recipient of a bone marrow donor, the thank you's are priceless - they are thanks for life, literally.

aplastic anemia Information:

For more information about Aplastic Anemia, please consider these sites:

Aplastic Anemia Association

One Life Matters BLOG


Bone Marrow Donation

Bone Marrow Testing