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Bone marrow donation is one of two methods of collecting blood forming cells for bone marrow transplants. Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure that takes place in a hospital operating room. Doctors use needles to withdraw liquid marrow (where the body’s blood-forming cells are made) from both sides of the back of your pelvic bone. You will be given anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. After donation, your liquid marrow is transported to the patient’s location for transplant.

Paul, bone marrow donor, explain his experience with bone marrow donation.

Typically, the hospital stay for marrow donation is from early morning to late afternoon, or occasionally overnight for observation. The donation will take place in a hospital that is experienced and participates in marrow collections for Be The Match®.

Possible side effects and recovery with marrow donation

After donating bone marrow, donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for a few days or longer. Most people donating bone marrow are back to their normal routine in a few days and most feel fully recovered within 21 days. Your marrow returns to normal levels within a few weeks. We will follow up with you until you report a full recovery.

Learn more about what happens after you donate.