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Cancer

Eligibility to Donate Bone Marrrow with ITP

01/05/2010

Question:

I am 55 year-old male in excellent health. Twenty years ago, my platelet count dropped. It was thought that I might need to get a bone marrow transplant and was placed on the register. I was diagnosed with Idopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (IPT) for which I was treated. I recently got a call as a possible donor since my name was still on the register. I`m totally willing to donate (I know what it`s like to think that you need it yourself), and they are willing to harvest it under local only (my only requirement as I react badly to sedation). My question is: how significant is having ITP in the past regarding bone marrow donation? I don`t have a primary care physician to ask and will probably do it anyway, unless there is some huge risk. Thanks.

Answer:

If you have no evidence of ITP now and have a normal platelet count, you can be a donor. I am sure that whoever is requesting/harvesting the marrow will carefully screen you for any underlying blood disease before committing you to bone marrow harvest.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University