Bone marrow transplant in children - discharge
Your child had a bone marrow transplant. It will take 6 to 12 months or more for your child's blood counts and immune system to fully recover. During this time, the risk of infection, bleeding, and skin problems are higher than before the transplant. Follow instructions from your child's health care provider on how to care for your child at home.
Transplant - bone marrow - children - discharge; Stem cell transplant - children - discharge; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant - children - discharge; Reduced intensity, non-myeloablative transplant - children - discharge; Mini transplant - children - discharge; Allogenic bone marrow transplant - children - discharge; Autologous bone marrow transplant - children - discharge; Umbilical cord blood transplant - children - discharge
What to Expect at Home
Your child's body is still weak. It may take up to a year for your child to feel like they did before their transplant. Your child will likely get tired very easily and may also have a poor appetite.
If your child received bone marrow from someone else, signs of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Ask the provider to tell you what signs of GVHD you should watch for.
Take care that your child does not to get infections for 1 year or more after the transplant.
Make sure your child washes their hands with soap and water often, including:
Ask the doctor what vaccines your child may need and when to get them.
Your child's immune system is weak. So it is important to take good care of your child's oral health. This will help prevent infections that can become serious and spread. Tell your child's dentist that your child has had a bone marrow transplant. That way you can work together to ensure the best oral care for your child.
Take care of your child's braces, retainers, or other dental products:
Take care when your child plays with toys:
Be careful with pets and animals:
Resuming schoolwork and returning to school:
Your child will need close follow-up care from the transplant doctor and nurse for at least 3 months. At first, your child may need to be seen weekly. Be sure to keep all appointments.
When to Call the Doctor
If your child tells you about any bad feelings or symptoms, call your child's health care team. A symptom can be a warning sign of an infection. Watch for these symptoms:
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Guideline on dental management of pediatric patients receiving chemotherapy, hematopoietic cell transplantation, and/or radiation. Pediatr Dent. 2013;35(5):E185-E193. PMID: 24290549 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24290549.
Bashir Q, Champlin, R. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 30.
Boyde C, Linden U, Boehm K, Ostermann T. The use of music therapy during the treatment of cancer patients: a collection of evidence. Glob Adv Health Med. 2012;1(5):24-29. PMID: 27257528 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27257528.
National Marrow Donor Program website. Life after transplant. bethematch.org/patients-and-families/life-after-transplant/. Accessed August 22, 2018.
Velardi A, Locatelli F. Principles and clinical indications of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 135.
Review Date: 7/26/2018
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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