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Donating Bone Marrow

Be the Match RegistrySM Eligibility Guidelines
As a volunteer donor, you will be asked a series of health history questions to determine whether or not you are suitable to be a marrow or blood stem cell donor. These guidelines were established to protect the health of both the volunteer donor and the transplant recipient.

Please read over the following Eligibility Guidelines and consult with the Bone Marrow Donor Program to determine if you are suitable to donate. The Bone Marrow Donor Program may be reached at 206-292-1897, 1-800-366-2831 ext. 1897, or

  • AGE: All donors must be between the ages of 18-44 and in good health.
  • AIDS/HIV: If you have, or are at risk for, HIV or AIDS, you cannot join the national Registry.
  • ALLERGIES: Common allergies to animals, the environment, or medications, etc. are acceptable.
  • ARTHRITIS: Mild to moderate osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis are acceptable. All other forms of arthritis are not acceptable.
  • ASTHMA: Serious asthma (poorly controlled, requiring hospitalization or oral steroids, etc.) is not acceptable.
  • AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: Donors with multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia cannot join the national Registry.
  • BACK PROBLEMS: Back problems (sprains, strains and aches) are common and may not interfere with blood stem cell donation. Serious back problems, particularly those requiring surgery, may be a cause for deferral. If you have significant back problems, consult with the Bone Marrow Donor Program.
  • BLOOD PRESSURE: Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is acceptable if well controlled by medication or diet and if there is no associated heart disease.
  • CANCER: Cured localized skin cancer (only simple basal cell or squamous cell) is acceptable. Healed breast, bladder, or cervical cancer in situ is acceptable. All other forms of cancer, including melanoma, are unacceptable.
  • DEPRESSION: Stable, well-controlled depression is acceptable.
  • DIABETES: If your diabetes is well-controlled by oral medication or diet, you can join the national Registry. If you require insulin or have diabetes-related serious health issues such as kidney, heart, or eye disease, you cannot join the national Registry.
  • EPILEPSY: More than one seizure in the past year is not acceptable. Epilepsy controlled with medication, when there have been no seizures in the past year, is acceptable.
  • HEART DISEASE: Prior heart attack, history of angioplasty, bypass surgery, heart valve replacement surgery, or use of a pacemaker are not acceptable. Mitral valve prolapse that does not require medication or restrictions is acceptable. Irregular heartbeat not requiring medication is acceptable.
  • HEPATITIS: Those diagnosed with, or at risk for, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C cannot join the national Registry. Hepatitis vaccine is acceptable. All other hepatitis history must be evaluated.
  • HIP REPLACEMENT: Donors who have had hip replacement surgery or have fractured their hip bone cannot join the national Registry.
  • IMMUNIZATIONS: Immunizations are acceptable, except investigational vaccines. Some immunizations require a waiting period before joining the Registry.
  • LYME DISEASE: Asymptomatic Lyme disease is acceptable if you have been successfully treated with antibiotics. Chronic Lyme disease is unacceptable.
  • MALARIA: Malaria with no symptoms more than three years ago is acceptable. All other malaria history must be evaluated.
  • OBESITY: Body Mass Index is used to evaluate weight. Donors may be deferred if obesity presents donation risk.
  • ORGAN or TISSUE TRANSPLANT: Heart, lung, liver, kidney, dura mater, marrow, or blood stem cell recipients cannot join the national Registry. Recipients of bone, ligaments, tendons, skin, or corneas may be allowed to join, depending on the underlying reason for the transplant.
  • PIERCING/TATTOO: Donors who have received a body piercing or tattoo are acceptable, if sterile, non-shared instruments were used. If the piercing/tattoo occurred in the last 12 months, you will be able to join the national Registry, but you will not be allowed to donate blood stem cells for 12 months from the date of the piercing/tattoo.
  • PREGNANCY: Blood stem cells cannot be collected at any time during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant may join the national Registry, but are not allowed to donate blood stem cells until fully recovered from the delivery of the baby.
  • SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES: Any history of sexually transmitted disease must be evaluated.
  • TRAVEL/RESIDENCE in MALARIAL RISK AREA or UK or EUROPE: Travel or residence in a malarial risk area or to the UK or Europe is acceptable.
  • TUBERCULOSIS: Active pulmonary tuberculosis within the last two years is not acceptable.