Regis­tra­ti­on and Donation

In prin­ci­ple, anyo­ne bet­ween 18 and 55 years of age can regis­ter to dona­te stem cells. Any of the Ger­man donor cen­ters can be cont­ac­ted for a typ­ing kit. The­re is always the opti­on, of cour­se, to par­ti­ci­pa­te in a typ­ing cam­paign. The­se are often adver­ti­sed in the local media. Donor cen­ters also fre­quent­ly con­duct typ­ing cam­paigns at schools among stu­dents in the hig­her gra­des. School stu­dents over 17 years of age may regis­ter, but their data will only be released and for­ward­ed to the ZKRD once they have rea­ched the age of majority.

Regis­tra­ti­on process

First­ly, the donor cen­ter ensu­res that the vol­un­teer is healt­hy, does not meet any of the exclu­si­on cri­te­ria, and weighs more than 50 kilo­grams. After being tho­rough­ly infor­med about the pro­cess, the vol­un­teer must give con­sent to stem cell dona­ti­on. A blood sam­ple or a cheek swab is then taken to deter­mi­ne the donor’s tis­sue cha­rac­te­ristics in the labo­ra­to­ry. The donor cen­ter stores the per­so­nal data and trans­mits the pseud­ony­mi­zed tis­sue cha­rac­te­ristics to the ZKRD. After typ­ing, the vol­un­teer will be available to pati­ents world­wi­de as a poten­ti­al donor. The con­sent to vol­un­t­a­ry stem cell dona­ti­on can be with­drawn at any time wit­hout giving a reason. In such a case, the donor’s data will be dele­ted both at the donor cen­ter whe­re typ­ing took place and at the ZKRD.

Young donors wanted!

It is advan­ta­ge­ous if donors are as young as pos­si­ble when they regis­ter with the donor cen­ter, as they will then be available for a lon­ger peri­od and fewer donors will need to be excluded due to health pro­blems. Stu­dies have also shown that dona­ti­ons from youn­ger donors often deli­ver bet­ter trans­plant results. The data of poten­ti­al donors will be dele­ted at the respec­ti­ve donor cen­ter and the ZKRD no later than on their 61st birthday.

Exclu­si­on cri­te­ria for stem cell donors

To mini­mi­ze the risk to donors and reci­pi­ents as far as pos­si­ble, the­re are various exclu­si­on cri­te­ria accor­ding to which a stem cell dona­ti­on should not take place. The cri­te­ria are rough­ly the same as tho­se for blood donation.

Open all exclu­si­on criteria

Die Daten der Spen­der, die vor dem 18. Geburts­tag regis­triert wer­den, ver­blei­ben bei der Spen­der­da­tei und wer­den beim Errei­chen der Voll­jäh­rig­keit des poten­zi­el­len Spen­ders an das ZKRD gemel­det, sofern der Betref­fen­de sei­ne Ein­wil­li­gung nicht zurück­zieht. Nach dem 61. Geburts­tag eines Spen­ders wer­den sei­ne Daten in der jewei­li­gen Spen­der­da­tei und im ZKRD gelöscht.

Sever­ely over­weight or underweight
For exam­p­le, heart attack, car­diac arrhyth­mia requi­ring tre­at­ment, coro­na­ry heart dise­a­se, poor­ly con­trol­led hyper­ten­si­on, bypass surgery
For exam­p­le, deep vein throm­bo­sis, blood clot­ting dis­or­ders such as hemo­phi­lia A (blee­ding dis­or­der), thalas­se­mia, sick­le cell anemia, apla­s­tic anemia, Mar­cu­mar (anti-clot­ting) tre­at­ment, spherocytosis
For exam­p­le, chro­nic bron­chi­tis, seve­re asth­ma, pul­mo­na­ry fibro­sis, pul­mo­na­ry embolism
For exam­p­le, glome­ru­lo­n­e­phri­tis, renal fail­ure, poly­cy­stic kid­ney disease
Not every aller­gy is auto­ma­ti­cal­ly a reason for ruling out stem cell dona­ti­on. Men­ti­on your all­er­gies at the time of regis­tra­ti­on so that your eli­gi­bi­li­ty as a donor can be verified.

For exam­p­le, some forms of hepa­ti­tis, Lyme dise­a­se, HIV infec­tion, pro­to­zoo­no­sis, per­ma­nent Sal­mo­nella excretion

For exam­p­le, epi­le­psy, schi­zo­phre­nia, psy­cho­sis, tre­at­ment-depen­dent depres­si­on, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, Creutz­feld-Jakob disease
Mali­gnant cancers
For exam­p­le, rheu­ma­to­id arthri­tis, col­la­ge­no­sis (e.g. sclero­der­ma), Crohn’s dise­a­se, ulce­ra­ti­ve coli­tis, Addison’s dise­a­se, immu­ne throm­bo­cy­to­pe­nia, lupus ery­the­ma­to­sus, Sjögren’s syn­dro­me, vasculitis
For exam­p­le, dia­be­tes mel­li­tus, Grave’s dise­a­se, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
For exam­p­le, kid­ney, liver, heart, skin, cor­nea, menin­ges, stem cells
For exam­p­le, alco­hol, medi­ca­ti­on, drugs
After tre­at­ment with growth hormones
The­se exclu­si­on cri­te­ria ser­ve to pro­tect both the donor and the pati­ent. In some cases, the cri­te­ria for exclu­si­on depend on the inten­si­ty. The final decis­i­on con­cer­ning exclu­si­on can some­ti­mes only be made short­ly befo­re a spe­ci­fic dona­ti­on. Indi­vi­du­als should not regis­ter if the likeli­hood of dona­ti­on is low. If the­re is any doubt, the atten­ding doc­tor should cla­ri­fy in the indi­vi­du­al case whe­ther typ­ing is worthwhile.

Risks of donation

Befo­re a donor can dona­te blood stem cells to a pati­ent, a detail­ed infor­ma­ti­ve talk will be held and a tho­rough medi­cal exami­na­ti­on per­for­med. Only when all the test results are in order may the donor dona­te his stem cells. The risks dif­fer depen­ding on the stem cell dona­ti­on method:

  • In the case of peri­phe­ral blood stem cell dona­ti­on, flu-like sym­ptoms may occur as a side effect of the pre­vious­ly admi­nis­te­red growth fac­tor. The­se can be trea­ted with mild pain­kil­lers and usual­ly dis­ap­pear imme­dia­te­ly after tre­at­ment. No long-term effects have been repor­ted sin­ce this method was first intro­du­ced in 1989.
  • In the case of bone mar­row dona­ti­on, seve­ral small punc­tures are made in the area of the pel­vic bone. The­se may cau­se brui­sing and dis­com­fort for a few days. Sin­ce the bone mar­row is coll­ec­ted under gene­ral anes­the­sia, the usu­al risks asso­cia­ted with this anes­the­tic pro­ce­du­re app­ly. Sym­ptoms such as wound pain can dif­fer from per­son to per­son. The bone mar­row its­elf will be rege­ne­ra­ted by the body after a short time.

Ques­ti­ons and answers

The most fre­quent­ly asked ques­ti­ons and ans­wers about typ­ing and stem cell dona­ti­on can be found in our FAQs.

From typ­ing to transplantation

Here you can find infor­ma­ti­on about the pro­cess of a stem cell dona­ti­on from the per­spec­ti­ve of the pati­ent and the donor at a glan­ce.

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