Patients especially need donors who are between the ages of 18 and 44. That’s because younger donors produce more and higher-quality cells than older donors. However, anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 can join the Be The Match Registry.
Age guidelines are not meant to discriminate. They are meant to protect the safety of the donor and provide the best possible outcome for the patient. The lower age limit is based on the legal age of consent. A guardian or parent is not able to sign a release or give consent because unrelated bone marrow donation is a voluntary procedure.
The upper age limit is based on both donor and patient considerations. There is a small increase in the risk of complications from donations in older donors. There is also a slightly increased risk of blood disorders in older people. In addition, studies have shown that patients who receive donated cells from younger donors have a better chance for long-term survival.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV (AIDS) you cannot register to become a potential donor. If you are at significant risk for the HIV/AIDS virus, you may not be allowed to register for a certain period of time.
If you suffer from mild allergies to animals, the environment or medications, etc., you will be allowed to register to donate. Serious or life-threatening allergies to medications or latex will need to be carefully evaluated before you may join the Be The Match Registry as a potential volunteer donor.
In general, if you have mild to moderate osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis, you will be permitted to join the Be The Match Registry. Mild to moderate arthritis is defined as having little impact on daily activities, and is relieved by taking occasional medications. If you have arthritis affecting the spine, your condition will need to be carefully evaluated before you will be allowed to register to become a potential volunteer donor. If you have a severe medical arthritic condition such as rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic and advanced stages of other types of arthritis, you will not be allowed to register.
If you have asthma that is exercise-induced or is well-controlled using an inhaler (including those containing steroids), and have had no attacks requiring oral (pill) or intravenous (IV) steroids or emergency care in the past two years, you are able to register to become a potential volunteer donor. If you have asthma requiring regular/daily use of oral (pill) steroids, you will not be allowed to register.
Back, Neck, Hip and/or Spine
Common back problems such as sprains, strains and aches may not interfere with a bone marrow donation.
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