How can I become a donor?

How can I become a donor?

Attend an event in your city or visit one of eight transfusion centers in eight cities in Croatia and add your name to the Croatian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, or stop by the Tissue Typing Department at University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, between 8 AM and 2 PM.


Who can be a bone marrow or peripheral stem cell donor?

Any healthy person between the ages of 18 and 40 can join the Croatian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. All who join the Croatian Registry before their 40th birthday can be donors untill their 65th birthday.

How many times can I be a donor?

You may be a bone marrow or peripheral stem cell donor many times. However, it is common practice that bone marrow or stem cells are donated only once.

What is the procedure for having your name added to the Croatian Registry?

After the consent forms and application are signed, a blood sample is taken (approx. 7 mL) in a test tube and sent to the laboratory for tissue typing in order to determine potential donor's tolerance to tissue antigens. A blood sample for tissue typing is taken using the same method as a blood test or any other biochemical analysis.

Will my name be listed in the Croatian Registry?

Your name is only listed at the Tissue Typing Department at University Hospital Centre Zagreb. You are added to the Croatian Registry by code only.

What types of diseases are treated with bone marrow transplantation?

Transplantation of your bone marrow can treat patients that are suffering from acute or chronic forms of leukemia, as well as patients with severe bone marrow disorders.

How will I know if my bone marrow can help anyone?

If there is a patient with the same human leukocyte antigens (HLA) as yours, you will be contacted by the Institute for tissue typing and asked once again if you are still willing to make a cell donation.

Do we have to have the same blood type?

Donor and recipient blood types do not have to match. A difference in blood type does not exclude the possibility of a successful bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplantation.

May I choose the type of donation?

Yes, you can choose between a bone marrow donation and a peripheral stem cell donation.

How is bone marrow donation done?

Bone marrow is taken from the pelvic bone. Since this procedure is not painless, it is performed under general anesthesia in the operating room. You are required to stay in the hospital for three days.

How is peripheral stem cell donation done?

Peripheral stem cell donation is done through a process called leukapheresis.

What is leukapheresis?

Leukapheresis is the process of separating the peripheral stem cells from the blood of the donor. A leukapheresis machine is similar to a dialysis machine. Blood is drawn from your arm and runs through a machine that filters out the stem cells. Then your blood is returned to your body through the opposite arm. You are required to stay in the hospital for three days.

Is an anesthetic required for the procedure of donating peripheral stem cells?

No, the procedure is painless and there is no need for anesthesia.