Check your eligibility
There are a few simple requirements to be eligible to become a donor.
Your age, area and health are importantSee if you are eligible
As a registered donor you may save someone's life!
Do you live in Germany?
Are you between the ages of 17* and 55?
Have you been diagnosed with a chronic disease or any blood disorder?
Do you suffer from one of the following diseases or belong to one of the risk groups below?
If you have questions about the exclusion criteria, please call us at +49-(0)221-940-582-3551.
- Weight under 7 stone 12lbs/50kg
- Obesity (e.g. body mass index (BMI)>40)
- Severe illnesses of the central nervous system or mental illness
- Systematic autoimmune diseases or other severe chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes or rheumatism)
- Cancer (including being cancer-free, but having had cancer in the past)
- Addictive disorder (alcohol, illicit or prescription drugs)
- Severe heart diseases
- Severe lung diseases
- Severe kidney diseases
- Severe metabolic diseases
- Severe tropical infectious diseases, particularly Malaria
- Infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, HTLV and Syphilis
- Diseases of the hematopoietic System (blood disorders)
You are eligible as a stem cell donor without additional consultation if the following criteria (see brackets) apply to you:
- Enlarged Thyroid/Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)/Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Stable and symptom free; also when taking Thyroid Hormones or iodide, no grave’s disease)
- High blood pressure (stable and well-controlled)
- Hay fever, mild asthma (without attacks), food allergy
- Unipolar depression (without any limitations in the everyday life)
- Iron-deficiency anaemia (treatable with iron supplement)
- Basal cell carcinoma and cervical carcinoma in situ
DKMS is legally obligated to comply with the guidelines of the German Medical Association. More information
Please enter your measurements
Thank you. You can become a donor!
As a registered donor, you give patients hope for a new chance at life.
Thank you for your willingness to help!
Take a look at our international locations. Maybe there’s a location near you.
Alternatively, support us with amonetary donation
The two ways to donate
You must be willing to donate using either method. The patient's doctor chooses the method that is best for the patient.
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Donation
This is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that collects blood stem cells via the bloodstream. During the procedure, your blood is drawn through one arm and passed through a machine that filters out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through your other arm.
To increase your blood stem cells prior to donation, you will receive daily injections of a synthetic protein called filgrastim on the four days leading up to and on the morning of the procedure. The actual donation can take from 4-8 hours over the course of 1-2 days.
Possible Side Effects & Recovery
While taking filgrastim, you may experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches, bone and muscle aches and fatigue. Most side effects should subside within 48 hours of donating. Your stem cells replenish within one week.
Bone Marrow Donation
This is a 1-2 hour surgical procedure performed under anesthesia, so no pain is experienced during the donation. Marrow cells are collected from the back of your hip bone using a syringe.
Possible Side Effects & Recovery
You may experience some pain, bruising and stiffness for up to two weeks after donation. Within a week of donating, you should be able to return to work, school and many regular activities. Your marrow will completely replenish itself within 3-6 weeks.
About stem cell donation
After your registration your tissue characteristics will be available for searches for patients from around the world. If you are the matching donor for a patient, DKMS will contact you.
Peripheral stem cell collection
Nowadays 80% of donations are done by extracting stem cells from your blood. The extraction takes about 4 hours.
Bone marrow collection
In 20% of cases stem cells are extracted from your pelvic bone under narcosis. It will hurt for a few days, like a bruise.
If you receive a message from us indicating that your tissue characteristics match those of a patient, we will inform you about the next steps in detail. Below we give you an overview of what you can generally expect in terms of stem cell donation.
Health check and confirmatory typing (CT)
You will receive a detailed health questionnaire so that any exclusion criteria for a donation can be detected early. This is followed by a confirmatory typing (CT), in which the tissue characteristics are analyzed again using an additional blood sample.
Furthermore, your blood is tested for specific infectious agents, such as HIV or hepatitis viruses. Using these results, a decision will be made as to whether you are a 100% match for the patient. As of this time, a personal contact from the DKMS medical service center (CMS) will be available for any questions you may have regarding the stem cell donation. The medical service center is an official partner of DKMS.
Your decision to become a lifesaver
Various factors, including the status of the patient’s health, determine whether you will ultimately be chosen as a donor after the preliminary examinations mentioned above. If you are indeed chosen as a donor, you should make a final decision as to whether you wish to be available to the patient. After a final health examination and explanation by a doctor, you will be asked to sign a declaration of consent for the donation. The decision as to which of the two procedures will be used to collect stem cells from the donor will depend on the needs of the patient. Whenever possible, the preferences of the donor are taken into account. For both procedures, the costs incurred will be covered and any loss of earnings sustained by the donor will be reimbursed.
Approximately one week before the transplantation appointment, the patient will begin the preparation phase. Here, diseased bone marrow is destroyed by chemotherapy, and in some cases by radiation therapy. As of this point in time, the patient cannot survive without the subsequent transfer of the donor’s healthy stem cells.
How it works:
Over a period of five days, the donor will be administered growth factor G-CSF. This medication increases the number of stem cells in the peripheral blood, and these are then collected directly from the blood using a special procedure. The collection from the bloodstream lasts approximately four to eight hours in one or two consecutive days. This procedure has been performed by DKMS since 1996. When the medication is administered, you may experience flu-like symptoms. There are no known long-term side effects according to the current state of research.
Two small incisions in the area of the rear pelvic bone are usually sufficient. The collection takes place with the donor laying on his or her stomach and lasts approximately 60 minutes. When a bone marrow donation is made, the risk is mainly limited to complications from anesthesia. For a few days after the collection, you may experience a local wound pain similar to a bruise.
The donor remains in the hospital for two or three days for the bone marrow collection. The donor should then stay at home for a few days in order to recover. Please consult with staff at the hospital carrying out the collection procedure.