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20 Mar

Bone marrow donor for family member
My niece has leukemia and the family is all asked to go for blood tests to see who will be a match to donate stem cells. I am a 66year old pensioner who suffers from diabetes as wll as high blood pressure, both for which I take prescription medicine. Can I be a donor?
Cancer expert

01 Apr

Dear Cecilia, according to the South African Bone Marrow Registry, the following criteria apply to potential donors:

Potential stem cell donors must be in good health and must have no condition that, by donating,

would adversely affect:

1. the health of the donor

2. the health of the patient

3. the successful completion of an apheresis procedure.


If any one of the following applies to you, unfortunately you will be unable to join the South

African Bone Marrow Registry as a potential Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Donor:

• You are under 16 or over 45 years of age

• You do not live in South Africa or will be in the country for less than two years

• You weigh under 50kg or are significantly overweight (with a BMI >40)

• You (or your partner) are, or think that you might be, HIV or HTLV positive

• You (or your partner) are, or think that you might be, positive for the hepatitis B or C viruses

• You engage in behaviour which places you at risk for sexually transmissible infections

• You have ever been injected (even once) with non-prescription drugs, including body-building

drugs - or you have a chemical dependency

• You are on prescribed medication that, if necessary, cannot be stopped should you be a

match for a patient. Please confirm with your doctor before registering.

• You have an inherited blood disorder e.g. Fanconi anaemia, Sickle Cell disease or

Thalassaemia, including being a carrier for any of these conditions

• You have a bleeding disorder e.g. Factor V Leiden mutation, Haemophilia, Protein S

deficiency, Prothrombin gene mutation, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, von Willebrand

disease - or are a carrier for any of these conditionsPage 2 of 2

• You have eczema

• You have severe asthma e.g. more than 2 attacks in the last year and are on oral medication

• You have more than 2 migraine attacks / month

• You are a para- or quadriplegic

• You have had a splenectomy

• You are a transplant recipient

• You have tuberculosis (TB) and are undergoing treatment

• You are taking more than 2 anti-depressant / anti-anxiety medications

• You have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and are on lithium treatment.

• You are on steroid or blood-thinning medication

• You have had a tattoo in the last 4 months

• You have, or have ever had, any of the following:

o An allergy to latex, anaesthesia, paracetamol

o Any auto-immune condition including Alopecia areata, Ankylosing spondylitis, Coeliac

disease, Cold Agglutinin disease, Graves’ disease, Goodpasture’s syndrome,

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Myasthenia gravis, Pernicious anaemia, Psoriasis, Raynaud’s

disease, Reiter’s syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Sjögren’s

syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease,

Uveitis, Vasculitis, Vitiligo

o Bi-polar disease

o Brain surgery

o Cancer

o Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

o Diabetes – unless controlled by diet alone

o Epilepsy

o A haematological (blood) disorder

o Heart disease or heart surgery

o Kidney disease - or have had a kidney removed

o Meniere’s disease

o A neurological condition e.g. Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Multiple sclerosis,

Muscular dystrophy

o Parkinson’s disease

o Schizophrenia

o Sciatica

o Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs)

• You are pregnant or are on fertility treatment

• You have a first degree relative with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) or myelodysplastic

syndrome (MDS)

• You have ANY OTHER condition that excludes you from being a blood donor or, if for ANY

reason, you are not eligible to donate blood. (MCH).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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