This Saturday is World Blood Cancer Day, a day important to Peli BioThermal and the organizations we support in delivering life-saving therapies to blood cancer patients.
Every 35 seconds someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For many blood cancer patients, a blood stem cell transplant from a matched donor is their only chance for survival. Seventy percent of patients do not have a matched donor in their family and rely on people who register to be a blood stem cell donor with organizations like DKMS and Be The Match. Matching is complex, so many potential donors are needed.
Registering as a donor is easy if you meet health guidelines–fill out an online health history questionnaire and swab the inside of your cheek with a swab kit mailed to your home. Not everyone will match and be asked to donate to a patient. But if you are called to donate, you'll donate in one of two ways:
Peripheral blood stem cell donation, which accounts for 80 percent of donations, is a nonsurgical procedure similar to donating plasma or platelets. Donors are given injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation. This increases the number of blood-forming cells in the donor's bloodstream. On the day of donation, blood is removed from one arm, passed through a machine to collect the blood-forming cells, and the remaining blood is returned through a needle in the other arm.
Traditional bone marrow donation–20 percent of donations–is a surgical procedure that takes place in a hospital operating room. Donors are under anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation, which removes liquid marrow through the back of the pelvic bone.
Once a donor's blood stem cells are collected, they make their way to a patient's bedside. That's where Peli BioThermal shines. Volunteer couriers, or companies like Ontime Onboard Courier, use Crēdo ProMed™ carry bags or other Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging to safely and reliably transport life-saving blood stem cells at refrigerated temperature ranges.
There's no better time to think about stepping up to save a life or spreading the word about the importance of blood stem cell donors. Visit DKMS's World Blood Cancer Day pageBe The Match's website for additional information about how to help.