How Donations Work

Adult Stem Cell Donation

Your stem cell donation will provide a potentially life saving treatment to a patient in need

PBSC Donation

Donating peripheral blood stem cells is a non-surgical procedure called apheresis. For 5 days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of filgrastim. Filgrastim is a medication that increases the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. On the day of donation, blood is removed through a needle on one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm.


When considering a PBSC transplant, it is imperative that the donor and patient have properly matching HLA types to complete a successful transplant. Without a proper match, the patient's immune system will reject the transplant. 

The individual nature of HLA types is why donors only have a 1/40 chance of matching with a patient. Usually, the closest match to a patient's HLA type will give them the best chance for a successful treatment.

Recovery & Follow Up

Most donors are able to return to work, school, and other activities within 1 to 7 days after donation. Risks involved with donation mostly include lethargy and lack of energy. Approximately 1 percent of donors experience lethargy for up to a month. 

Some donors experience mild soreness or achy feelings, similar to the flu, when they receive filgrastim. However, since filgrastim began to be used in the 1990's, no donors have experienced serious side effects from its use.

Your stem cells will regenerate in about a week after donation!

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