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Author Topic: Why are there age limits for Be the Match registry members?  (Read 3794 times)

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Offline Clark

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Why are there age limits for registry members?

Many Be The Match Registry® members ask why our guidelines include age limits for joining the registry. People need to be age 18 to 60 to join. Once on the registry, members remain eligible to donate marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) until their 61st birthday. Many people outside this age range very much want to help patients by donating marrow; however, the guidelines are in place to protect donors and provide the best treatment for patients.

Why does a person have to be 18 to join or donate?
An individual must be 18 to donate because donation is a medical procedure (for PBSC donation) or a surgical procedure (for marrow donation) and the person undergoing the procedure must legally be able to give informed consent. A guardian or parent cannot sign a release or give consent for someone under age 18, because unrelated marrow donation is a voluntary procedure and is not directly beneficial or life-saving to the volunteer donor.

Why can’t a person over age 60 join or donate?
Be The Match Registry members are changed to an inactive status on the registry on their 61st birthday and are no longer available for patient searches.

There are two main reasons:

Donor safety: As one ages, the chances of a hidden medical problem that donation could bring out increases, placing older donors at increased risk of complications. Since there is no direct benefit to the donor when they donate, for safety reasons we have set age 60 as the upper limit. It is important to note that the age limit is not meant to discriminate in any way.
To provide the best treatment for the patient: Studies have shown that patients who receive donated cells from younger donors have a better chance for longterm survival.
Other ways to save lives
When you join the Be The Match Registry, you give patients hope for a future and you may have that amazing opportunity to potentially save a life.

There are also many other ways to help transplant patients. You can:

Spread the word online and in your community about the need for marrow donors http://marrow.org/help/index.html
Work with a local Be The Match representative to host a donor drive in your community https://secure.marrow.org/CONTACT/Host_A_Drive/host_a_drive.aspx
Make a financial contribution to help make transplants possible for more patients https://secure2.convio.net/marrow/site/SPageNavigator/Donation_home_secure
However you choose to be part of this effort to help save lives through marrow transplants, your contribution is valued and appreciated.
Unrelated directed kidney donor in 2003, recipient and I both well.
626 time blood and platelet donor since 1976 and still giving!
Elected to the OPTN/UNOS Boards of Directors & Executive, Kidney Transplantation, and Ad Hoc Public Solicitation of Organ Donors Committees, 2005-2011
Proud grandpa!


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