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When you have been notified by Tzu Chi of a positive match, our center will assist you to arrange the donation schedule smoothly.

1. Taking leaves
When do I need to ask for leave in regards to the donation process?

  (1)Physical Exam:
    Although Physical Exam usually will only take half a working day, it is recommended that you take one full day off due to additional time needed for transportation.
  (2)Bone Marrow Donation:
1. autologous-blood collection: Depending on the intended amount of marrow donation, you may need to visit your nearest blood drive center three days prior to the autologous-blood collection process. You can choose to do so during the weekend or holiday, in which case there will be no need to take time off work.
2. Bone Marrow Donation Operation: Requires three days. For the operation you will be admitted into Tzu Chi Hospital in the afternoon, and the operation will take place the following morning. After a full nights rest, the doctors will conduct a post-surgery recovery evaluation, and then you will be discharged. The Center will issue the necessary documents to your employer to assist you in getting at least five days off approved (this may vary depending on the donors job demands). Privately owned businesses have discretion over whether or not they will give out this leave, but state owned businesses must follow the Executive Yuan Central Personnel Administrations Rules governing grant of leave for Executive Yuan and its subsidiary units Article 3, Clause 7: Grant of leave according to necessity due to bone marrow and/or organ donation.
  (3)Peripheral blood donation
1. Three days prior to the injection of GCSF, the donor will need to go to the cooperating hospital to take another blood sample. You can do this after work, and no leave will be needed.
2. Four days prior to the collection of peripheral blood stem cells,you will need to visit the hospital every day for a GCSF injection. Except for the 15 min observation time for the very first injection, you will be able to leave immediately after the injections for the 3 following days. You can go after work, and no leave will be required.
3. Peripheral blood donation: Under normal circumstances the process takes 2 days. You will be admitted into Tzu Chi Hospital's apheresis in the morning. Then, you will receive the 5th dose of the GCSF injection, 3 hours later, the collection of peripheral blood stem cells can be started. In principal, the donation should be done over 2 days, collecting twice, with 4-8 hours per collection. The number of times of collection and amount collected is mainly based on the patients weight. Even with 2 collections, the donor will still be able to leave in the afternoon of the second day.
4. Due to the potential flu-like side effects from the injection, the 4th day may be the most uncomfortable day(varying with the individual), the center will issue official document to assist the donor to apply leave days from work, including the day prior to hospitalization ( the 4th day of injection) and an additional day of rest after you are discharged from the hospital. Privately owned businesses will approve leave at their discretion, but government owned businesses will follow Executive Yuan Central Personnel Administrations Rules governing grant of leave for Executive Yuan and its subsidiary units Article 3, clause 7: Grant of leave according to necessity due to bone marrow and/or organ donation.


2. Transportation

During the entire donation procedure, including all various stages, required transportation will be arranged by Tzu Chi care team. Costs incurred will be paid by the center and the patient. For donors physical exam, only the donors transportation and travel insurance will be covered. For the donors trip to the collection center, the donor and one companions transport fees will be covered, but this will not include the companions travel insurance cost. Donor may select the transportation method to suit his personal preference, and with the shortest traveling time.

3. Donors Preparation

Food: Loss of red blood cells in the bone marrow will incur from the donation, so it is recommended to increase in taking foods rich in iron and folic acid (a blood donor center recommended food list will be given), to improve hematopoiesis.
During the process of peripheral blood stem cells collection process, your blood will mix with the anti-coagulants solution. Anti-coagulants often reduce the level of calcium level in your blood, which will result in the numbness feeling around your fingers, toes, and/or the perimeter of your mouth. It is recommended to increase your intake of food with rich calcium; this will help to minimize the discomfort caused by the lowered calcium ions levels resulting from the collection.
A healthy lifestyle will allow the production of more healthy and lively stem cells for the recipient. It is recommended that you have sufficient sleep, regular life style, and remember to exercise regularly.
For donors who have chosen to donate peripheral blood stem cells, it is recommended that you practice more arm exercises, because the pace of blood circulation in your arms will affect the amount of time needed for collecting peripheral blood stem cells.


4. Difficulties that donors face

Family Objection: When facing objection from your family members, the center can provide relevant information to help your family understand and accept the process. Moreover, we will try our best to invite previous donors to share their own experiences. However, you will still be the key in communicating about your decision to your family. The center will respect your final decision, and it will be your decision that determines whether the donation can be proceeded.
Regarding the operation schedule, the donation date is mainly planned and chosen by the hospital responsible for the transplant. Due to the fact that recipient needs to be in a relatively good physical condition to be able to undergo the transplant. If the donor has specific schedule arrangement, it can be mentioned before hand, and the center will consult with the hospital to coordinate the most suitable schedule for the donation.

Update: Oct. 2009

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