Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is a StemExpress Stem Cell Collection Center?

It’s part of StemExpress LLC, a life-sciences company that accelerates the prevention and cure of diabetes, heart disease and many other diseases by supporting the global biomedical research community.

All around the world, researchers trying to find cures and treatments for life’s significant medical conditions were looking for a reliable and timely source of human-derived samples and blood. StemExpress opened its first Stem Cell Collection Center location in 2013 to help meet that need and shorten the time it takes to find new treatments and cures to reach patients.

What does the StemExpress Stem Cell Collection Center do?

Our Stem Cell Collection Centers welcomes community members willing to make a difference by becoming a blood or bone marrow donor. They will educate you on the various types of donations, and will walk you through your entire donation.

What happens to the samples of blood and bone marrow you collect?

In our own state-of-the-art facility, StemExpress performs extensive lab work to test and purify the donated samples so that researchers can use them. Sometimes this requires isolating cells, which is a complex process.

When StemExpress has been able to successfully prepare the samples, we ship them to scientists and researchers around the world relying on the cells of the human blood system to find new ways to treat and cure disease.

Donations are used for research purposes only.

Who can donate?

All donors must be free of infectious diseases. We’ll take a small blood draw at your initial visit and test it and confirm.

Additional Donation Specific Requirements Include:

Blood Donors

  • Over 18 years of age

Bone Marrow Donors

  • Over 18 and under 55 years of age
  • Free of lower back or hip pain
  • Body mass index of 32 or lower (determined when we measure your height and weight at your first visit)

Apheresis Donors

  • We will check your veins at the health screening and let you know if you are eligible for Apheresis donations.
Will you protect my identity?

Yes. We provide researchers donor identification numbers in place of names to keep our donors anonymous. We are dedicated to maintaining confidentiality.

Will I be compensated?

Donors who complete a preliminary health screening receive a $25 gift card.
Qualified donors who return to a StemExpress Stem Cell Collection Center to donate blood or bone marrow can get a gift card ranging from $25 to $350 depending on the size and type of the donation. Compensation is received upon completion of every appointment.

When you receive your gift card, you are accepting responsibility for that gift card.

StemExpress is not responsible for lost, stolen, or expired gift cards.

What are acceptable forms of ID?
The specific details of our acceptable forms of identification are as follows:

Primary form of ID

You will need a valid version of one of the following forms of ID:

 

  • Driver’s license with a photo
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service card (green card)
  • State ID
  • Employee ID with a photo
  • Passport
  • Student ID with a photo
  • Military ID

 

NOTE: Any invalid (ie: expired) version of a Primary ID is considered a Secondary ID

 

Secondary form of ID

When a primary form of ID is not available, you will need two secondary forms of ID with your first and last name present.

 

  • Any invalid (ie: expired) version of a Primary ID
  • Student ID without a photo
  • Driver’s license without a photo
  • Credit card or bank card
  • Employee ID without a photo
  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy)
  • Personal checkbook with name and address
  • Social Security card
  • Voter registration card
  • Payroll stub
  • Vehicle registration
  • Fishing or hunting license
  • Grocery store frequent shopper card or VIP card
  • Club or museum membership card
  • Library card
  • Professional license (ie: RN, LPN or MT)
  • Selective Service card
  • Insurance card

Whole Blood Donation

Should I fast before my donation?

No, in fact we suggest eating and being well hydrated before you come in.

Will I need to provide a urine sample?

Possibly. If so, a staff member will tell you when you schedule your appointment.

I have gotten a tattoo or piercing in the last twelve months, can I still donate?

Yes. Because our donations are for research purposes only, our restrictions differ from some other donation centers.

I take medications, can I still donate?

While some medications may rule you out, there are many medications that will not. When you come in for your screening, please provide a complete list of all medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and as-needed medications such as inhalers. If you have questions about your eligibility to donate due to a medical condition, please contact your physician or call us.

Bone Marrow Donation

Does it hurt?

There can be some discomfort during and after the bone marrow procedure. The level of pain donors experience varies widely from donor to donor. Soreness should lessen each day and go away entirely in one to two weeks.

Can I bring someone with me?

You can bring someone to the appointment, but they will have to wait in the waiting room during your bone marrow procedure.

White Blood Cell (Apheresis) Donation

Why does it take so long to donate white blood cells?

During the apheresis procedure, your total blood volume (TBV) is being processed twice.

What is the difference between white blood cells and plasma?

Plasma and white blood cells are different components of your blood. It takes longer to donate white blood cells than it does to donate plasma because plasma is more plentiful in your blood.

Are there any side effects?

During the procedure, you may experience some tingling or numbness in your lips due to a loss of calcium from the anticoagulant used in the apheresis procedure. If this occurs, let a staff member know and they can provide you with calcium tablets to make it stop. After the procedure, you should feel no adverse effects.

What happens if I have to go to the bathroom during the procedure?

In an extreme circumstance, we can end the procedure early so that you can go to the bathroom. If this happens, we cannot hook you up to the machine again, and you may have a longer deferral period if all of your blood is not delivered back to you.

Can someone come with me while I donate?

Yes, you can have someone with you while you donate, provided they are old enough to remain unsupervised. Staff cannot be responsible for children while you are donating.

Mobilized White Blood Cell Donation

When can I sign up?

Before scheduling you for this procedure, we will have to screen you by scheduling at least one regular white blood cell donation appointment in order to see how you donate and if this procedure would be a good fit.

Are there side effects to the G-CSF injections?

There is a potential for side effects with the G-CSF injections, the most common of which are achiness in your bones and flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, fatigue, and nausea. A complete list of potential side-effects is provided in your informed consent notice.