A blood or marrow transplant (BMT) can offer the chance for a cure to some children who have a life-threatening disease. However, a transplant is a long and intense process that will impact the entire family. Learning what to expect can help you, your child and your family cope.
Unlike organ transplants, blood and marrow transplants are not a surgical process. They're more like blood transfusions. The challenging part of the BMT process is managing the complications following the transplant, when the patient is extremely susceptible to infection.
The medical team will look for a donor that is either a relative or from the National Marrow Donor Program or cord blood registries. Once a donor is identified, stem cells are harvested using one of three resources including bone marrow, peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood.
Before the BMT process begins, your child will need to have a medical examination to evaluate their eligibility for transplant. Learn More
You will meet with one of the transplant physicians to discuss your child's workup evaluation results. Learn More
The preparatory regimen includes performing laboratory and diagnostic tests, along with the giving high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation. Learn More
During the transplant, stem cells that have been previously collected are given to the patient. The transplant itself is similar to a blood transfusion and takes about an hour or less. Learn More
During the weeks before the newly transplanted stem cells produce new blood cells, a patient's body is unable to produce white blood cells, increasing his or her risk of infection. Patients are closely monitored and receive medications to prevent infection. They are also kept in protective isolation on the BMT unit. Learn More
Your child's healthcare team will work with you to determine when it is time for your child to leave the hospital. Learn More
Our staff, along with your primary physician will monitor your child's health and well-being. Learn More
The University of Minnesota Blood and Marrow Transplant program has developed an extensive long-term follow up program to provide risk-based health care and surveillance to transplant survivors. Learn More