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 had a bone marrow transplant. It will take 6 to 12 months or more for their blood counts and immune system to fully recover. During this time, their risk of infection, bleeding, and skin problems is higher.
Their body is still weak. It may take up to a year for your child to feel like they did before their transplant. They will likely get tired very easily. They may also have a poor appetite.
If they received bone marrow from someone else, they may develop signs of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Ask their health care 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 their transplant.
Keeping your house clean is important to help prevent infection. But do not vacuum or clean while your child is in the room.
Keep your child away from crowds.
Ask visitors who have a cold to wear a mask, or not to visit.
DO NOT let your child play in the yard or handle flowers and plants.
Make sure your child follows guidelines for safe eating and drinking during her cancer treatment.
DO NOT let them eat or drink anything that may be undercooked or spoiled at home or when eating out. Learn how to cook and store foods safely.
Make sure their water is safe to drink.
Make sure your child washes their hands with soap and water often, including:
After touching body fluids, such as mucous or blood
Before handling food
After going to the bathroom
After using the telephone
After being outdoors
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. Make sure your child's dentist knows that your child has had a bone marrow transplant. That way you can work together to ensure the best oral care for your child.
Have your child to brush his teeth and gums 2 to 3 times a day for 2 to 3 minutes each time. Give them a toothbrush with soft bristles to use. Floss gently once a day.
Let your child's toothbrush air dry between brushings.
Make sure your child uses toothpaste with fluoride.
Have your child rinse his mouth 4 times a day with a salt and baking soda solution. (Mix one half teaspoon, or 2.5 mL, of salt and one half teaspoon, or 2.5 mL, of baking soda in 8 ounces, or 237 mL, of water.)
Your child's doctor may prescribe a mouth rinse. Make sure it is alcohol-free.
Take care of your child's lips with products made with lanolin. Tell your child's doctor if they develop new mouth sores or pain.
DO NOT let your child eat foods and drinks that have a lot of sugar in them. Give them sugarless gums or sugar-free popsicles or sugar-free hard candies.
Take care of your child's braces, retainers, or other dental products:
Children can continue to wear oral appliances like retainers as long as they fit well.
Clean retainers and retainer cases daily with an antibacterial solution. As your doctor or dentist to recommend one.
If any areas of permanent braces irritate your child's gums, use mouth guards or dental wax to protect the delicate mouth tissue.
Velardi A, Locatelli F. Principles and clinical indications of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BMD, St Geme J, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 135.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.