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Thursday 24th May 2018

Ash putting bone marrow patients' lives at risk

19th April 2010

Bone marrow patients who need transplants are having to wait for treatment because of the ban on flights caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption.


Bone marrow transplants are used to treat patients who suffer from leukaemia and lymphoma.

According to the Anthony Nolan Trust, who coordinate the transportation of bone marrow, delivery companies are being forced to use boats and trains to get to the UK.

Many patients have had to postpone their treatment because of the flight ban. Bone marrow transplants that were scheduled to go ahead recently have had to be cancelled.

An Anthony Nolan Trust spokesman stated that bone marrow needed to be transported within a 72-hour time frame otherwise the cells would not survive.

"The bone marrow which goes from a donor to a patient can't be stored like pints of blood. The donor only donates when they are sure there is a person who needs treatment somewhere in the world," he explained.

The bone marrow needed for transplants is sourced from different areas around the world, including North America and Europe.

The spokesman said patients who needed transplants had to receive treatment which broke down their immune systems and left them in a "very fragile state" until they received the bone marrow.


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