Bone Marrow Database

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health, Social Services and Public Safety – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 14 October 2002.

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Photo of Bairbre de Brún Bairbre de Brún Sinn Féin 3:00, 14 October 2002

A successful outcome in unrelated bone marrow transplantation is critically dependent on an exact match between the donor and patient. The nature of the blood typing that is required to find an exact match means that hundreds of thousands of donors are necessary in order to have a reasonable chance of finding a match, and there are approximately 160,000 donors on the British Bone Marrow Donor Registry. We must take those issues into account when we consider separating from that system.

Since the service began, the public here has shown a lot of interest by volunteering for the programme. The existing bone marrow programme has operated successfully for many years and has resulted in over 50 volunteers donating bone marrow. Our current connection means that anything extra that is done through the NHS will also have a positive, knock-on effect on access to the service here.