As part of New York Blood Center's commitment to providing the most comprehensive and life-saving products and services possible to its many communities in New York and New Jersey, its bone marrow department has served as the regional registry for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) since 1989. Participating in the recruitment and management of unrelated volunteer bone marrow donors, New York Blood Center (NYBC) has recruited over 230,000 potential bone marrow donors and has facilitated the harvest, or transplant, of over 1000 bone marrow matches.
Bone marrow transplants can often be the last hope for patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia and other fatal blood diseases. Potential bone marrow donors first enter the NMDP, a network of transplant centers, donor centers, collection centers and recruitment groups assisting in the facilitation of patient transplants all across the world, by doing a cheek swab that is used for HLA (human leukocyte antigen) testing. If a volunteer's HLA type is a preliminary match for a patient, he/she is contacted for additional testing, a physical examination and counseling. If all is satisfactory and the donor still wants to donate his/her bone marrow or blood stem cells, a donation procedure of bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells may be scheduled.
At any given time, it is estimated that thousands of patients worldwide are searching for a bone marrow match. NYBC alone receives approximately 10 new requests each day for potential donors to undergo additional testing to see if they might match a patient in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
More information about New York Blood Center's bone marrow program is available by calling 1-800-NYBLOOD Ext. 2.