QUESTION: After someone receives a stem cell donation, does his or her blood type change, like from O positive to A negative? – Kimberlee Garver, Manlius
ANSWER: “Blood type will not change if the stem cell transplant comes from your own stem cells (autologous transplant).
“If the stem cells come from a donor (allogenic) and the donor’s blood type is different, your blood type will change to that of the donor. It takes about 3 months.
“The same goes for histocompatibility antigens (HLA), which are proteins on your cells that your immune system uses to recognize which cells belong in the body and which do not. Your HLA antigens will also change to the donor’s HLA type.” –Robert Corona, DO, professor and Chair of Pathology
QUESTION: Sometimes just as I am waking up, I suddenly cannot move my body, and it’s a dreadful sensation. What is happening? — Yudy Kush, Baldwinsville
ANSWER: “This is known as sleep paralysis, a relatively rare event. The individual wakes up, generally in the third part of the night, with a sense of being unable to move, of being unable to talk or shout or ask for help, and it’s very frightening because they are totally paralyzed and unable to do anything but wait it out. It lasts 1 or 2 minutes, and then it disappears.
“Sleep paralysis is a remnant of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the time of the night when we dream. During REM sleep, we develop paralysis of all the muscles of the body, except the eyes and the diaphragm so that we can continue breathing. If the individual wakes up during that particular time, they have this experience of not being able to move while awake.
“We have medications that can be prescribed if sleep paralysis is especially troublesome.” –Antonio Culebras, MD, neurologist and consultant for The Sleep Center
QUESTION: If a doctor wants you to take a prophylactic antibiotic before a medical procedure and determines you are resistant to a certain antibiotic, will you always be resistant to that antibiotic? — Brian DeJoseph, Syracuse
ANSWER: “Resistance –or ‘being resistant’ in the context of antibiotics– implies resistance that develops in microbes, not humans. Any antibiotic use can create resistance in microbes. There are at least 10 times as many bacteria as human cells in the body. This is called the human microbiome, and this is currently under study. We do not know how long organisms (resistant or other) stay in the body and the environment.
“So the short answer is, if the antibiotic is used for limited time (such as the day of surgery) the chance of developing resistant microorganisms is much less than from prolonged use. The need of prophylactic antibiotic and the benefits usually outweighs the limited risk of resistance.” –Waleed Javaid, MD, assistant professor of medicine specializing in infectious diseases
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