Local

September 13, 2013

New bone marrow clinic opens at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center

Airman 1st Class Timothy Young
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.— The Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center took a step forward in the assistance of bone marrow treatments across the world by opening a bone marrow clinic.

Of the 30,000 people in need of a bone marrow transplant each year, 500 are Department of Defense members.

“By establishing the program here, we are increasing the size of the national registry, increasing the diversity of the national registry and reducing time needed to match donors with recipients,” said Staff Sgt. Laura Hunt, NCOIC general surgery clinic and bone marrow program walk-in site and drive coordinator.

Hunt said military members and their families tend to be healthier than the average person, which makes them a great candidate for donations.

Getting into the Bone Marrow Registry is very simple and painless. A collection of four swabs is taken from the inside of a person’s cheeks. The swabs are then tested and the person’s information is placed in the national registry until the age of 60.

Things that would typically disqualify a person from giving blood may not disqualify him or her from donating bone marrow.

The chances of someone in the registration being a close enough match to someone in need of bone marrow and leading to him or her being asked to donate is only about 2 percent. So many people in the Bone Marrow Registry will never even be selected to donate.

“You are not committing yourself to anything at that time,” Hunt said. “You always have the choice of turning down a bone marrow donation or taking yourself off the registry.”

Military members selected to donate are sent TDY to a hospital for testing. If the testing concludes the member is the best match, He or she will then go through the process of donating.

Hunt said most people are afraid to donate because they have heard the procedure is extremely painful, but that’s not the case at all.

There are two main ways to donate bone marrow. The way someone donates depends on multiple factors because every case is different.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donations consist of the donor receiving one shot a day for five days straight. The shots cause the body to slightly over produce blood-forming cells in the bloodstream. This is collected on the fifth day through a procedure similar to donating blood or plasma.

The second way to donate involves a surgical procedure done under general anesthesia, which puts the donor to sleep, or regional anesthesia, which numbs a specific area of the body. While under anesthesia, doctors use needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the donor’s pelvic bone.
“The actual procedure is painless,” said Molly Andolina, an experienced bone marrow donor.
“Afterwards my back ached a little for three or four days, but that was it.”

Hunt has seen firsthand the need for lifesaving bone marrow donations after losing her best friend to leukemia.

Her best friend Jill Andolina was diagnosed with leukemia and received a total of three bone marrow treatments. Both Hunt and Jill’s mother Molly attribute the donations as adding healthy years Jill’s life.

Hunt felt the treatments were one of the reasons Jill was able to be the maid of honor at her wedding.

“When it comes down to it, does the pain matter, does [the inconvenience of] going through the procedure matter?” Hunt said. “If you have the chance to save a life would you?”

The bone marrow clinic is looking for active-duty military members, their family members, DOD civilians, Coast Guardsmen, National Guardsmen and Reservists ages 18 to 60 years old to be placed on the Bone Marrow Registry.

The program’s walk-in location is in the general surgery clinic on the first floor of the medical center.

For more information on the clinic, call Hunt at (702) 653-3062 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Think before you drink: LVAADD saves careers, lives

U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Las Vegas Airmen Against Drunk Driving is an all-volunteer organization made up of Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases who volunteer their time to help ens...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Airman uses passion to restore ‘survivor’ car

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Airman 1st Class Thomas Kelly, 99th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, stands next to his car “Fury” on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 27. Kelly grew ...
 
 

CHIEFchat: Cody addresses new EPR form, Course 15

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody addressed several topics during his latest CHIEFchat, including the new enlisted performance report and Course 15, at the Defense Media Activity here. Cody said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III handed off the task of...
 

 
RF2

Red Flag 15-3 rolls on to week 3

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Kevin Raver, a fuels apprentice assigned to the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Altus Air Force Base, Okla., fills out paperwork after refueling an EA-18G ...
 
 

Ask the Doc

Q: How do I get a breast pump? A: 1. Get a prescription • Your prescription must be from any TRICARE-authorized doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife • Your prescription must show if you’re getting a basic manual or standard electric pump. To get a hospital-grade pump, you need to work with your...
 
 

Community Happenings – July 31, 2015

Please be a good steward of the environment — pick-up the base newspaper from your driveway and place in the recycle bin after you read it. Every Monday: Ready, Set, Grow at the Youth Center 10 a.m. Every Wednesday: Grill Your Own Steak at The Club 5 p.m. Every Thursday: Walk-in GI Bill briefing 2...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>