Bone Marrow – Ten Things That You Need to Know

Some bones are hard only on the outside. Inside the hip bones, the thigh bones and some other bones is a spongy tissue known as bone marrow. To live a healthy life, a person needs healthy bone marrow. Here are ten things you need to know about bone marrow:

  1. It makes new red blood cells

Blood cells live for a maximum of 100-120 days. One of the functions of the bone marrow is to produce new red blood cells. It can produce around 200 billion red blood cells each day.

  1. Bone marrow contains two different types of stem cells

There are two types of stem cells in the bone marrow; mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells. The former isfound in the bone marrow cavity while the latter can cross the bone marrow barrier.

  1. Stem cells can turn into any type of cells

Stem cells are immature cells that can turn into any type of cell depending on where they are inserted. This includes red and white blood cells, platelets, cartilage, adipose tissue, muscle and endothelial cells.

  1. Stem cell transplant and bone marrow transplant are not the same

In the case of a bone marrow transplant, the stem cells are harvested from the donor’s bone marrow but in the case of a stem cell transplant, they may also be harvested from the donor’s blood or umbilicalcord.

  1. After donation, bone marrow replaces itself

Donating bone marrow poses no risk to the donor. Within 4 to 6 weeks, the body will regenerate enough bone marrow to replace the lost bone marrow.

  1. A bonemarrow transplant can treat many life-threatening diseases

A bone marrow transplant may be used to treat certain types of cancer, bone marrow that was damaged as a side effect of chemotherapy, aplastic anemia, congenital neutropenia and thalassemia along with many other diseases.

  1. The odds offinding a bone marrow match vary according to race

A patient needing a bone marrow transfer has a 25% chance of finding a donor with a complete match in his or her family. However African-American patients have a 66% of finding a matching donor while white patients have a 93% chance of finding a perfect match.

  1. Complete match bone marrow transplants have a very high success rate

When the bone marrow is a full match, the success rate is higher than 99%. If it is not a complete match, the patient’s chance of rejecting the donor bone marrow increases to 10-15%.

  1. A Bone Marrow Transplant surgery in India is priced at a fraction of the cost in the USA

Bone marrow procedures in countries like India that offer medical tourism are priced at around 10% of the cost of the procedure in the USA. This is often inclusive of the cost of airfare and hotel stay for the patient’s caregiver.

  1. Monitoring and hospitalization are required after a bone marrow transplant

There is a chance that the body may reject a bone marrow transplant after the procedure. Hence, the patient must be hospitalized and monitored. The extended hospital stay is one of the main reasons why many people look towards medical tourism for bone marrow procedures.