After you have joined the Finnish Stem Cell Registry, information on your tissue type will be entered in the international database. If a patient needs a stem cell transplant, this database will be searched for a donor with a suitable tissue type.
Most registry members will never be invited to donate, but each member gives someone a chance at life. The more members the registry has, the more patients have a chance to recover. Around 30 Finnish people donate blood stem cells each year. The number of Finnish donors aged over 20 totals more than 600 individuals.
Stem cells can be collected in two different ways: from the blood or from the bone marrow. It is the patient's condition that primarily decides the collection method. In some cases, the donor's wishes can also be taken into consideration. Most stem cells are collected from the blood stream.
All donations take place in Helsinki
All donations that are arranged through the Stem Cell Register are carried out at the Meilahti Hospital, in Helsinki. The patient to receive the transplant is undergoing treatment in Finland or outside Finland. The staff of the hospital treating the patient will fetch the donated transplant from the hospital, or the transplant will be transported by a trained courier.
The donor is insured, while expenses are reimbursed
The Stem Cell Registry and the hospital in charge of the transplant donation will cater for the extensive insurance coverage required for a stem cell donor.
No fee is paid for donation of blood stem cells. All direct costs due to the donation, such as housing and travel costs and loss of earnings, are reimbursed.