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Bone Marrow Or Stem Cell Transplantation
What you should know
A bone marrow or stem cell transplantation is a procedure to remove stem cells from blood or bone marrow. The stem cells are put into your body. Stem cells are able to become other cells, such as red blood cells. Stem cells can also travel to your bone marrow and can become new bone marrow cells.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- Your body may reject the new stem cells. You may have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. You may also have weight gain, a fever, or a rash. You may get sores inside your mouth. You may be unable to have sex or get pregnant. You may lose too much blood and you may need a blood transfusion. Your immune system may not work as well as before the transplant, and you may get a serious infection.
- You may get a blood clot in an arm or leg. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. This problem can be life-threatening.
- If you an autologous stem cell transplant, it may contain cancer cells, and the cancer may spread to other parts of your body. One or more of your organs may become damaged. Without a stem cell transplant, your condition may become life-threatening.
Before your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need to take antibiotics before your transplant. Antibiotics fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- You may receive chemotherapy or radiation before your stem cell transplant. These treatments help kill cancer and other damaged cells. Chemo and radiation also may help stop your immune system from attacking the new transplanted cells.
- If you are having an autologous stem cell transplant, you may have your own blood harvested a couple of weeks before your transplant. Bone marrow is removed from your bones or from a vein. A machine is used to separate stem cells from your blood or bone marrow. Your caregiver may give you medicine that helps your stem cells move from your bone marrow to your blood.
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
The night before your procedure:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
What will happen:
You will have a central line placed into a large vein near your collarbone, neck, or groin. Stem cells will be transplanted into your body through the central line. Your procedure may take several hours.
After your procedure:
Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. If you feel weak or dizzy when you stand up, sit or lie down right away and call your caregiver. Your caregiver may check your eyes, your memory, and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance also may be tested.
Contact a caregiver if
- You have a fever.
- You have pain in your bones, muscles, stomach, or head, even after you take pain medicine.
Seek Care Immediately if
- Your heart beats faster than normal.
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- You have new chest pain.
- You have trouble concentrating, feel dizzy, or faint.
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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.