Registering with donor program provides opportunity to save lives
Students at Salter’s Fall River campus recently got a first-hand primer on how bone marrow donation can save lives.
A representative from the Icla da Silva Foundation, a recruitment center for Be the Match, spoke to students in Salter’s professional medical assistant, health claims specialist, and massage therapist training programs.
The 30-minute presentation not only allowed students the opportunity to join the registry, potentially putting them in the position to save a life in the future, it also supplemented their training about health and wellness.
How bone marrow can help
During the presentation, students heard how bone marrow donation can be a life-saving treatment for people suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers.
A bone marrow transplant may be the best – or only – hope for a cure for many people. However, finding a compatible match is often a significant challenge. Be the Match reports that up to 70% of people don’t have a match within their own families.
That’s where the National Bone Marrow registry comes in. Volunteers who join the registry allow their names to be added to a national registry of potential bone marrow donors. After undergoing a non-invasive cheek swab to provide a DNA sample, potential donors’ information is cataloged and added to the national database.
When a patient requires a bone marrow donation, medical professionals can consult the registry to find an appropriate match based on compatible DNA markers.
Numbers tell the tale
How strong is the need for bone marrow donors? Be the Match states that every three minutes, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every 10 minutes someone dies from a blood cancer.
One out of every 504 registrants eventually goes on to donate.
While bone marrow extraction is considered a surgical procedure, it’s normally done on an outpatient basis. Donors are put under general anesthesia during the procedure.
Be the Match states that there is never any cost for bone marrow donors to donate. If you’d like to know more about how bone marrow donation works, check out these FAQs.
If you’re interested in learning how you can start your own career in the medical field, request more information about Salter’s training programs.