Monday, July 15, 2019
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


The not-so-painful truth about donating bone-marrow

Medical horror stories reinforce misconceptions about the pain involved in becoming a donor

By Graham A. MacDonald , in City , on June 28, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The scenes are familiar.

A patient strapped to an examination table. Doctors holding giant needles. Agonizing pain. No anesthetic.

These are the popular-media images of bone-marrow transplants that continue to inform our understanding of the procedure.

Trouble is – they are largely incorrect.

These medical horror stories reinforce misconceptions about the pain involved in becoming a donor, which can scare people away from donating at a time when more donors are needed.

Mackenzie Smith, a twotime donorand Dr. Michelle Zeller, a transfusion specialist and hematologist, tell their stories in an effort to set the record straight.

 

For more information on transplants and how to become a donor, click here.