Did you know that each year, an estimated 17,000+ Americans are in need of life sustaining, bone marrow transplants? Some of them may be diagnosed with sickle cell disease, aplastic anemia, lymphoma, severe combined immunodeficiency or leukemia. But they are not the only health conditions that may warrant such a critical procedure. That’s partially why our registered nurses wanted to stress how crucial bone marrow donors are to so many ailing Floridians and their families.
Our bone marrow may not look like much to the naked eye, but it’s something we can’t live without. Its key roles have to do with the production and distribution of blood cells, which we need to maintain our bodies’ other life sustaining systems. When a healthy person is born, he or she has red bone marrow, which is full of stromal and hematopoietic stem cells as well as iron. As time goes on, that changes.
For example, some of our bone marrow may pick up fat, loose iron or become diseased. The fat accumulation isn’t necessarily a problem but disease and a loss of iron are. Therefore, it may eventually become important to replace a little bit of one person’s bone marrow with that of another. There are several ways that modern day physicians complete the transfer. The list includes, but is not limited to allogeneic and autologous bone marrow transplants. Once the bone marrow has been transplanted, it typically begins to grow and replace the recipient’s damaged cells in the process.
The person on the receiving end of the transplant will often need home care from registered nurses throughout his or her recovery period. Signs of problems that RNs will be looking for during that time period are shortness of breath, changes in blood pressure, inflammation, fever and chest pains. To learn more about bone marrow and how registered nurses may help donors and recipients alike, please contact us today.