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Henan sees first HSC donations from local people to foreigners

(People's Daily Online)    14:29, June 11, 2015
Wang Yuchao(Left) and Sun Jinwei (right) donating HSC cells.(Photo/Shen Zhiyuan)

On Tuesday, two suspensions containing hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) were transported to America and the Netherlands. Wang Yuchao and Sun Jinwei donated the cells contained in these suspensions in Henan Provincial Tumor Hospital on Monday. Both are in good condition.

Henan Province saw the first HSC donations from local people to foreigners. This was also the first time that two Chinese volunteers had donated their HSCs to foreign patients on the same day and in the same location of China.

Volunteers willing to donate HSCs

For two months before their donations Wang and Sun kept early hours and maintained a healthy diet, so as to ensure the quality of their HSCs. Wang even gave up drinking alcohol.

Family members of donors support HSC donations

Some members of the families of Sun Jinwei and Wang Yuchao showed concern over the donation process. Wang Yuchao's mother repeatedly asked Zhang Yanli - a doctor at Henan Provincial Tumor Hospital - whether the HSC donations would be extracted from the marrow, and might harm the donors' health.

Zhang Yanli explained that nowadays, HSC collections no longer involve extracting marrow by drilling into bones. The collection process is similar to phlebotomizing in routine physical examinations. The doctors extract peripheral blood from donors and collect the HSCs with a device. Knowing that the HSC donation process would be pain-free and risk-free to the donors helped Wang's mother to relax and support her son's decision to offer a donation.

Red Cross workers stick to their posts

Wen Meiying is a worker at the Henan Branch of the Red Cross Society, and has been responsible for HSC donations for 14 years. Wen likes visiting matched donors and persuading them to donate HSCs. An increasing number of donors are registering with the China Marrow Donor Program after media promotions related to HSC donations.

In 2012 China started to upload volunteer donor data to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide through the CMDP, ranking NO.4 among the marrow donor programs worldwide. The CMDP stores the data of more than two million volunteers. Henan Province launched its provincial marrow donor program in 2003, and to date it holds data on nearly 100,000 volunteers. 

Wen said that China still has a lot of room for improvement, compared with developed countries. For instance, more than 4000 people donate HSCs every year in Germany, while China has just 4970 donors to date. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Zhang Qian)

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