All donors on our database are in a state of ‘standby’ following their initial registration. A donor that is ‘called into action’ as a potential match for a patient is requested to take part in the confirmatory typing stage.
Confirmatory typing (CT) is the preliminary phase of donation. It is when the patient’s clinical team have identified a shortlist of potential donors and request further blood tests across those in the group in order to establish which donor is the best possible match for the patient. If you are matched, one of our dedicated Donor Request Management Team Managers will contact you to discuss what it means to be a shortlisted match, answer any questions, ensure you are of good medical health and assess your availability and willingness to proceed.
To ensure that everything is double-checked, we will repeat your human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue characteristics typing, originally done with a cheek swab at your registration, with a new blood sample to confirm that this HLA typing is absolutely correct. We will also test for any infectious disease markers in your blood that could be passed along to the patient.
For your convenience, we will schedule a blood test appointment at your registered GP or local hospital on your behalf, with all the information and equipment (including blood tubes) sent in advance to your home address. We ask that you take your sampling kit with you to your appointment, and our specialist courier will collect the samples once they have been taken. We will also ask you to complete and return a comprehensive health history questionnaire and consent form.
The samples are then delivered to our laboratories for analysis, and your results passed on to the patient’s clinical team, who then finalise the proposed treatment plan for the patient, including selection of which donor is preferred for donation. This can take some time, as it is dependent on the patient’s disease and transplant timeline. You will be reserved for this patient for 12 weeks following your blood sample collection. During this time you cannot be searched for by other patients.
One of three options will be selected by the patient’s clinical team: you may be requested to proceed to donation for this patient, you may be released from reservation for this patient (and now you will become active on the registry again, and can be searched for by other patients), or you may be placed “on hold” while more time is required to finalise the patient’s treatment plan.
You can speak to our Donor Request Management Team at any time during the CT process should you have any concerns or questions. All donors have the right to withdraw at any time, although it is best to do this as early as possible. If an official request to proceed with the donation is received, we will contact you again to explain the next stage of donation, also known as Work-Up (WU).