Here you will find answers to the most common questions related to blood donation, the Stem Cell Registry and the Blood Service.
How does donating stem cells work?
Blood stem cells can be collected in two ways: from circulating blood, similar to a long blood donation, and from the bone marrow of your hip bone using a syringe under general anaesthesia.
Find out more about how stem cells are collected.
How likely am I to be asked to donate?
Each year, roughly 40 members of the Stem Cell Registry donate stem cells. In other words, only a small percentage of the registry’s members get the chance to donate.
Nonetheless, it is important that the register has a large number of members to ensure as many patients as possible find a suitable donor.
Is donating stem cells dangerous or harmful?
The Blood Service ensures that donating stem cells is safe a safe process for the donor.
The state of health of new members joining the registry, potential donors and selected donors is charted using questionnaires and interviews, and selected donors also go through an extremely thorough physical examination before donating. This ensures that the donation process does not cause harm or risk to the donor.
Blood stem cells are produced constantly, which means the donated cells are quickly replaced by new ones, and the procedure has no permanent effect on the donor’s blood count.
Where does stem cell donation take place?
Collection of stem cells happens in a centralised manner at the Meilahti Hospital, which is part of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.
The Stem Cell Registry reimburses any travel, meal and accommodation expenses incurred by the donor, as well as loss of income during the donor’s sick leave.
Why are stem cells donated anonymously?
The stem cell donor and recipient are not given any identifying information about each other. This is a basic principle of the Stem Cell Registry.
The idea is the same as in blood donation: the donor gives a gift that is then passed on to the patient. The anonymity of the process has the purpose of emphasising that all patients are equal – whether they are children or adults, Finns or foreigners.
The stem cell donor has the opportunity to enquire about the patient’s status one year after the donation.
Why is there no reward for donating?
A stem cell donation is a gift given voluntarily by a person who wants to help someone in need and does not involve a reward.
Paying a reward for donations would increase the risk that potential donors might hide information about their health. This could put both the donor and the patient at risk.