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Bone Marrow Failure In Children


Bone marrow failure is a condition that prevents your child's bones from producing enough healthy blood cells.



  • Antibiotics: These help fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Growth factors: These help your child's bone marrow produce more blood cells.

  • Immunosuppressives: These help prevent the body from attacking its own bone marrow. This may allow your child's bone marrow to make more blood cells.

  • Antifungals help treat or prevent a fungal infection.

  • Antivirals help treat or prevent a viral infection.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's primary healthcare provider or hematologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Prevent an infection:

  • Wash hands often: You, your child, and everyone in your home must wash hands throughout the day. Use soap and water. Use germ-killing gel if soap and water are not available. Wash after bathroom use and diaper changes. Wash before food is prepared and eaten. Tell your child not to touch his eyes, nose, or mouth unless he has washed his hands first.

  • Keep your child away from people who are sick: This includes people who have a cold, flu, infection, or rash. You may want to avoid crowded places, such a malls and elevators.

Prevent bleeding:

  • Do not give medicines that can cause bleeding: Ask your child's primary healthcare provider before you give any medicines or herbal supplements to your child. Do not give him aspirin, ibuprofen, or antihistamines.

  • Protect your child: Do not let your child play contact sports. Have him play quietly. Contact sports and rough play can cause bruising or serious bleeding problems. Give your child a soft toothbrush, and teach him to brush his teeth slowly and gently. This may help prevent bleeding gums. Have your child use lip balm to prevent his lips from drying and cracking. Apply lotion to his skin to prevent scratching and skin tears. Encourage your child to wear sunscreen when he is in the sun.

  • Prevent constipation: Constipation can cause bleeding in your child's bowel movement. Give your child fresh fruit and plenty of water to drink to avoid constipation. Ask your child's primary healthcare provider for more information about preventing and treating constipation.

Contact your child's primary healthcare provider or hematologist if:

  • Your child has cold skin and appears weak.

  • Your child has a new rash.

  • Your child has signs and symptoms of infection, such as chills or a cough, or he feels weak and achy.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child has bleeding from his gums, mouth, or nose that cannot be stopped.

  • Your child's bowel movement has blood in it or is dark.

  • Your child's urine has blood in it, is red, or smells foul.

  • Your child has a sudden, severe headache, feels dizzy, or is more tired than usual.

  • Your child has difficulty breathing.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.