Stem cell donation – Procedure and information
Medical progress is unstoppable and results in a multitude of innovative therapeutic procedures (u.a. in stem cell donation). Cell research in particular regularly produces new findings that have a positive effect on supporting the body’s own regenerative abilities.
Stem cells: Strong all-rounders
Stem cells are special body cells that can form into a variety of tissue types. To achieve this effect, adult stem cells are specifically implicated in the body region to be treated.
Stem cells are thus a basic building block of the body and innovative research objects due to their mutability. In modern medical therapy procedures, stem cells are programmed to support the regenerative functions of the body. For example, these all-rounders are used for targeted bone or cartilage reconstruction. Research into soft tissue is also progressing steadily, so that successful therapy trials are only a matter of time.
By the way: adult stem cells, which are used therapeutically in medicine, are not to be confused with embryonic stem cells, whose use is subject to ethical concerns.
Stem cell donation – the procedure
There are currently three procedures for obtaining stem cells that can be used therapeutically:
- Collection from the umbilical cord blood,
- Collection from flowing blood by means of a special procedure,
- Collection from the bone marrow.
If stem cells are to be extracted from the bone marrow, this procedure is only possible with the help of a surgical intervention. Bone marrow, often from the pelvic bone, is extracted using a thin puncture needle. The advantage of this method is the good compatibility of the stem cells during further therapeutic use.
Stem cell collection from the blood is a complex procedure that involves a mobilization phase lasting several days“. The stem cell donor is injected under the skin with special drugs that cause stem cells to migrate from the bone marrow into the blood. This type of stem cell harvesting is often used in the fight against leukemia.
The side effects during the collection procedure are minor and become noticeable through flu-like symptoms. The most gentle method is currently the collection of stem cells from the umbilical cord blood. Since this procedure can of course only be carried out immediately after birth, it is particularly important to make the decision for a collection as early as possible.
In principle, stem cells can be donated and thus made available to the general public or specific individuals for therapeutic purposes, or they can be stored for personal use at private cord blood banks, which are therefore subject to a charge. The latter serves as a precautionary measure to enable your own child to be used for medical purposes later on, since stem cells from the body do not in principle trigger any defensive reactions.
Whether as a precaution for one’s own child or as an external donation. Stem cell donation is an important process that combines minor inconveniences with major benefits and, in the best case, can even save lives. So the decision can only be right.