April 15, 2008

An article in today's Ledger-Enquirer out of Columbus, Georgia highlights an interesting story—a local police officer matched two people in five years, donating his marrow both times. (One recipient was a six-month-old baby, the other a 45-year-old man.) This article is one of the few that talks about the process of donating, and it highlights that the procedure sounds much worse than it actually feels. How bad could it be if he was willing to do it again after already going through it? Here's an excerpt:
Both times Reed did his life-giving thing while asleep.

He had the doctors use a general anesthesia rather than get an epidural. About 75 percent of bone marrow donors go that route.

The surgical procedure isn't a difficult one. Doctors make two to four incisions right above the pelvic bones. Each is about a quarter of an inch long. A hollow needle is then used to draw out the liquid bone marrow, usually about a quart's worth.

"They had to punch me about 20 times when I was giving for the baby," Reed said. "I was told it about 57 times for this second one."

But there is little pain.

"I limped for a little bit afterward," he said. "There is still some tenderness back there, but it's not too bad."

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posted by Emru Townsend at

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