Do you have questions regarding stem cell donations?

General information

  • What is the difference between an HSC (Haematopoietic Stem Cell) donation and a bone marrow donation?

    Stem cell donations have several benefits over bone marrow donations.
    Stem cell donations:
    - do not require a general anaesthetic;
    - are performed by a puncture in the forearm;
    - are performed in a day clinic (no hospital admission);
    - involve a subcutaneous injection with a growth factor over 4 days ahead of your donation;
    - takes 2 to 4 hours.

  • Why should I sooner go for an HSC donation rather than a bone marrow donation?

    Haematopoietic stem cell donations come with several advantages for the donor and the blood recipient alike.

    - for the patient, an HSC donation helps to speed up the lifting of the graft and requires less time spent in a sterile room;
    - for the donor there is the risk inherent to the collection and no general anaesthetic.

  • How often can I donate HSCs or bone marrow?

    Just the once for an unrelated donor. But if you are compatible with a member of your family, you may donate again without any problem. As soon as you have donated, your name will be taken off the list of the National Belgian Register, which explains why we need to recruit new haematopoietic stem cell donors on a regular basis.

Requirements to become an HSC donor

Registration

  • How to register?

    Simply present yourself at a Red Cross blood collection centre or a blood collection (0800 92 245). Speak to the doctor at the collection centre/point who will take a sample from you, which we will subsequently screen and test. Next, we include you under your donor code in the National Belgian Register of HSC donors specifying your HLA type (Human Lymphocyte Antigen). If your type is found to be identical to that of a patient, we will contact you to arrange the collection of your HSCs.

  • Do I directly donate my haematopoietic stem cells?

    No, we collect a 3ml tube of blood to establish the antigens in your white blood cells. We then include you under your donor code in the National Belgian Register of HSC donors specifying your HLA type (Human Lymphocyte Antigen). If your type is found to be identical to that of a patient, we will contact you to arrange the collection of your HSCs.


     

  • Are there costs to be paid by the donor?

    Donors do not pay any kind of costs.

  • Does a commitment apply forever?

    No, you are free to withdraw at any time without having to provide reasons.

    Nonetheless, this is a real commitment as:
    - you accept to make yourself available for the collection;
    - you undertake to inform the Blood Service of all and any changes in your health status or your administrative details;
    - you accept to donate your stem cells to anyone who may need them

During the donation

After the donation