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Bone Marrow Failure In Children

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

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

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

  • Treatment of bone marrow failure may make it necessary for your child to stay in the hospital for a time. Medicines may damage your child's organs or bones, or cause growth problems. A bone marrow transplant and medicines may increase your child's risk of cancer, such as liver cancer or leukemia. He may have bleeding, infections, or a life-threatening allergic reaction.

  • If left untreated, your child's condition may worsen. He may be weak and get tired easily. He may have delayed physical and mental growth. He may have severe bleeding. If the bleeding is not treated, your child may develop life-threatening hypotension (low blood pressure). Your child may develop aplastic anemia, which is a life-threatening anemia. He may also be prone to a disease called myelodysplastic syndrome, which can progress to leukemia.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Head circumference:

This is the distance around your child's head. Caregivers may put a tape measure around your child's head to measure it.

Reverse isolation:

Your child may be put in reverse isolation if his body is having a hard time fighting infections. Your child will be given a private room to protect him from other people's germs. Caregivers and visitors may wear gloves, a face mask, or a gown to keep their germs away from your child. Everyone should wash their hands when entering and leaving your child's room. Your child may be scared in isolation. Ask caregivers about the best ways to comfort your child while he is in isolation.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Antifungal medicine: This medicine helps kill fungus that can cause illness.

  • Antiviral medicine: This medicine may be given to fight an infection caused by a germ called a virus. Antiviral medicine may help to decrease the number of days your child is sick.

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

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

Monitoring:

  • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your child's skin record the electrical activity of his heart.

  • Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your child's blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your child's foot, toe, hand, finger, or earlobe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off. An alarm will sound if your child's oxygen level is low or cannot be read.

  • Vital signs: Caregivers will check your child's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask you or your child about his pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your child's current health.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: Your child's blood is taken for a blood count or to check for infection.

  • Bone marrow biopsy: A small sample of your child's bone marrow is taken from a bone and sent to a lab for tests.

  • Genetic tests: These tests show if a hereditary disease is causing your child's symptoms.

Treatment:

  • Blood transfusion: Your child may need to receive blood through an IV. He may get only part of the blood, such as red blood cells, platelets, or plasma.

  • Bone marrow transplant: Your child is given healthy bone marrow from a donor. The donor is usually someone who is not a family member.

  • Peripheral blood stem cell transplant: Your child is given stem cells. Stem cells are able to become other cells, such as red blood cells. Stem cells can also travel to bone marrow and start growing into new cells.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

Learn more about Bone Marrow Failure In Children (Inpatient Care)

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