The experience at a single institution in harvesting marrow for allogeneic transplantation on 1,270 occasions from 1,160 normal donors is presented in detail, together with an analysis of all the donor complications. Four donors were less than 2 years old, and the youngest was 6 1/2 months. No special difficulties were encountered with these young donors. Hospitalization time was three days or less for 99% of the procedures. Six donors had life-threatening complications; three of a cardiopulmonary and two of an infectious nature, and one cerebrovascular embolic episode. Significant operative site morbidity, usually transient neuropathies, occurred in ten procedures. Ten percent of the donations were associated with transient postoperative fever of unknown origin. Increasing donor age was associated with a reduction of the cellularity of the marrow harvest. The use of stored autologous blood permitted the avoidance of blood bank transfusion in 81% of males, 69% of females, and 50% of children. It was concluded that the procedure was associated with a very low risk of complication, but that the involvement of normal donors in such an operation justifies stringent monitoring.

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