As an international non-profit organization, every day DKMS provides 20 lifesaving blood stem cell transplants for blood cancer and blood disorder patients all around the world. Even in the current situation that we are facing with COVID-19, these patients still urgently need our help. It is for this reason that we keep fighting and continue to work together and collaborate with the international blood stem cell community to be able to overcome all barriers, to give as many patients as possible, who are in urgent need of a life-saving blood stem cell transplant, with a second chance at life.
Due to the advice and directions from the health authorities regarding the COVID-19 virus and to play our part to flatten the curve, we have postponed all of our planned donor drives/registration events in all of our six countries. We want to make sure that we look after and protect all of our donors and volunteers. For the thousands of patients around the world who are not able to find a perfect match, we still urgently need to add more donors to the database. We are thankful for every registration and you can still order your registration kit online at www.dkms-bmst.org/register. Registering is simple and straightforward and you can become a potential lifesaver!
Patients around the world still urgently need blood stem cell transplants to survive. This is why we ask all of our donors to make themselves available if they are a match for a patient. The health and well-being of our donors is our number one priority and we consider every case on an individual basis. We will always do everything possible to ensure the safety of our donors. We have implemented screening for the COVID-19 virus risks before entry to collection centers and before the start of a donation. These measures serve to protect the donor as well as the recipient and the employees in the collection centers. Health experts have confirmed that there is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted via blood, bone marrow, or stem cell products.
We are grateful for every one of our incredible donors and for their commitment to providing patients with a second chance at life.
The blood stem cell collections from DKMS-BMST donors sometimes travel across borders to patients in other countries. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by many countries, we are in regular and close contact with all parties involved in the transport, as well as with the relevant national and international authorities and organizations. Despite the added difficulties that we are facing at the moment, as always we are determined to overcome all barriers in order to provide as many patients as possible with a second chance at life.
In light of the increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus, DKMS-BMST is postponing all planned events and registration drives for new potential blood stem cell donors until further notice. DKMS-BMST sees itself with a special duty of care and with these measures specifically follows the recommendations of the state and the central government for the protection of the population.
Blood cancer patients around the world are still in urgent need of blood stem cell transplants and many are still not able to find a matching donor. This is why DKMS-BMST continues to encourage everyone that is able to, to register as a blood stem cell donor and if required, to also make themselves available for a donation."We must not abandon any patient who is currently searching for a blood stem cell donor or waiting for a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. In this difficult situation, I urgently ask that everyone continues to make themselves available as donors. We are taking all precautions necessary to protect each and every one of our donors in the best possible way," said Dr. Elke Neujahr, Global CEO DKMS.
We are grateful for every registration and to enable everyone that is interested to be able to register, DKMS-BMST offers the possibility of online registration at www.dkms-bmst.org/register. Anyone who is interested can easily order a registration kit to be sent to their home. With the help of three cotton swabs and clear instructions, as well as a consent form, every potential new donor can take a cheek swab themselves and send it via post back to DKMS-BMST. In the DKMS Life Science Lab the individual HLA characteristics (also: tissue characteristics) of the donor are then analyzed, allowing the potential donor to be registered in the DKMS database.