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Who can become a stem cell donor?

Anyone who meets the health requirements, lives in the Netherlands and are between 18 and 35 (inclusive) can register as a stem cell donor at no cost.

Register as a stem cell donor

You can register as a stem cell donor at no cost if you are 18 to 35 years old. In the 36 to 55 age group, a one-off registration fee of 35 Euros is compulsory for registration. You can become a donor if you are straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, asexual or transgender. To be able to donate stem cells you must weigh at least 50 kilos and have a BMI between 18 and 30. If a donor weighs less than 50 kilos, we won’t be able to obtain enough stem cells to help the patient. If the BMI is too high, more medication must be administered for the stem cells to enter the bloodstream. This could entail unnecessary risks for you as a donor. In addition, research has shown that heavier donors have more side effects from the donation.

The maximum age is 55 years. This is because the quality of the stem cells decreases noticeably after that age, while the risks of a stem cell donation increase. Furthermore, research shows that the stem cells of younger donors (preferably between 18 and 35 years of age) provide better transplant results for the patient.

We have these strict rules to ensure health of donor and patient. 

 

Medical questions prior to donor registration

Unfortunately, you can’t become a stem cell donor if you have to answer “Yes” to one of these questions. If you can’t register as a stem cell donor, you can take action and support us.

Examples are:

  • Increased cholesterol for which medication is needed (also familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • Heart attack, cerebral haemorrhage or stroke (CVA, TIA) in the past
  • Heart rhythm disorder for which medication is used daily
  • Complaints of chest pain or severe shortness of breath during exertion
  • Prolonged high blood pressure that requires medication

COPD is a collective term for emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other chronic lung diseases.

Examples are:

  • If you need short-acting airway-widening medication (eg Salbutamol, Ventolin etc.) more than three times a week.
  • If you regularly have to take tablets that contain anti-inflammatory medication (corticosteroids such as prednison/prednisolon).
  • If you are still (so not in the past) regularly admitted to the hospital for asthma treatment.

You may answer "No" to this question with these exceptions:

  • Daily use of inhalation with anti-inflammatory maintenance medication (eg Seretide, Flucticason etc.), which means you are free of complaints.
  • If you need less than three times a week short-acting airway widening medication (eg Salbutamol, Ventolin etc.) (for example, during sports).

If you are in doubt about the above question, please contact us via our contact form before signing up as a donor

With a stable thyroid disorder, we mean that the dosage of medication has been the same for the past two years or longer and that you no longer have any complaints.

You may answer "No" to this question with this exception:

  • If the dose of medication has changed temporarily due to a pregnancy.

Examples are:

  • Chronic bowel inflammation (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes (type 1 & 2)
  • Epilepsy with medication and/or regular attacks (see exception below)
  • Fibromyalgia or ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hypermobility syndrome (see exception below)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • A chronic kidney disease
  • A severe form of psoriasis (see exception below)
  • Rheumatism

You may answer "No" to this question with these exceptions:

  • Epilepsy without use of medication and longer than 12 months no seizures
  • Hypermobility which is limited to a few joints
  • Psoriasis in light form that only requires an ointment or lotion from time to time.

If you have a chronic physical condition that is not listed above, please contact us via our contact form before signing up as a donor

Examples are:

  • Factor V Leiden
  • Thalassema (see exceptions)
  • G6PD deficiency
  • Any form of blood cancer (leukemia, lymphoma etc., even if this was in the past)

You may answer "No" to this question with these exceptions:

  • Anemia (due to, for example, iron deficiency) of a temporary nature.
  • Carriage of thalassemia, if you have no complaints at all and therefore do not use medication or receive blood transfusions.

If you have a blood disorder that is not in the list above, please contact us via our contact form before signing up as a donor

Example:

  • If you use, or have used, anticoagulation (eg aspirin, plavix, heparin or fraxiparine injections or medication via thrombosis service).

You may answer "No" to this question with this exception:

  • If you have ever been treated with anticoagulant medication as a precaution, standard after surgery.

You may answer "no" to this question with these exceptions:

  • If you have had jaundice as a child with mild symptoms and have recovered completely without treatment. This was then probably caused by the hepatitis A virus.
  • If you are completely cured of a hepatitis B infection.
  • If you are completely cured of syphilis.
  • If you have had a "false positive" test from the blood bank.

If you have ever had any type of cancer, you can’t become a stem cell donor. Even if you are declared healed by your own doctor, it is not possible to become a stem cell donor.

You may answer "No" to this question with these exceptions:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Pre-stage of cervical cancer
  • An abnormal result from a PAP smear (up to and including PAP 4)

By this we mean the following situations (for other forms of allergy you can answer "no"),

  • An allergy requiring daily medication throughout the year.
  • An allergy to foods in shich a life-threatening reaction has ever occurred.

 

If in doubt, please contact us via our contact form before signing up as a donor

Examples are:

  • Migraine that hinders you in your daily functioning
  • More than two migraine attacks per month

You may answer "No" to this question with this exception:

  • The use of beta-blockers to prevent migraine provided there are no more than two attacks per month.
  • If you had severe migraine in the past, but have not had it for more than a year now.

The behavior below statistically gives an increased risk of hepatitis, Syphilis and HIV (AIDS). To protect the recipients of stem cells against these diseases, you can’t register with this behavior as a stem cell donor.

Examples are:

  • The use of a needle to administer drugs to yourself
  • Sexual contact in exchange for drugs or money
  • Frequently changing, unprotected sexual contacts
  • Sexual contact with someone from an area where HIV (AIDS) is common (such as countries south of the Sahara)
  • Sexual contact with people who are infected with HIV (AIDS) or who have a high risk of HIV (AIDS)

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