Skip to Content

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting in Children


  • Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) harvesting is a procedure that removes stem cells from your child's blood. Stem cells are created in your child's bone marrow. Bone marrow is soft, spongy tissue inside bones. Stem cells may become healthy cells that replace cells that are damaged from sickness. Stem cells removed from your child's blood may be put back into your child or someone else. Before the procedure, your child's caregiver will test his blood. He also will give your child medicine to increase the number of stem cells in his blood.
  • Your child's blood will go through a tube into a machine that removes the stem cells. His blood is then returned to your child's body. Your child might have PBSC harvesting if he has chemotherapy (chemo) cancer treatment, which kills or damages many blood cells. New stem cells may help your child grow healthy blood cells to replace these damaged cells. Your child also may donate stem cells to a sick family member or someone else. New stem cells may help your child or someone else make healthier blood cells. Healthy blood cells may help your child or someone else recover faster after chemo. Stem cells also may help treat diseases such as cancer and bleeding problems.


Your child's medicines are:

  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • 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. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.

Returning to school or previous activity:

Ask your child's caregiver when it is okay for your child to return to school or normal daily activities.


  • Your child feels sick to his stomach or throws up.
  • Your child feels dizzy, weak, or has the chills.
  • Your child has pain that does not go away, even with medicine.
  • Your child has less energy or sleeps more than usual.
  • Your child is more upset or cries more than usual.
  • Your child has a fever (high body temperature).
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's procedure, medicine, or care.


  • Your child has a seizure (uncontrolled shaking).
  • Your child faints.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child complains of pain in his chest.

Learn more about Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting in Children (Aftercare Instructions)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.