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Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting in Children


Peripheral blood stem cell harvesting is a procedure to remove stem cells from your child's blood. The stem cells can be harvested for your child or for someone else. If the stem cells are for your child, he will receive them after he has received treatment for his disease.


Before your child's procedure:

  • 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.

During your child's procedure:

  • Your child's healthcare provider will insert an IV catheter into your child's vein, usually in his arm. The healthcare provider will then attach the catheter to a machine called a blood cell separator. This machine collects your child's blood and separates the stem cells from his blood. Then the machine returns the blood to your child's body through another IV catheter inserted into his other arm.
  • Tell healthcare providers if your child complains of pain or tingling in his mouth, hands, or feet during the procedure. Normally, the procedure takes 3 to 5 hours a day over a period of 1 to 3 days. Stem cells can be used right away or frozen and used later.

After your child's procedure:

Your child will be taken to a room to rest. He will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not let your child get out of bed until his healthcare provider says it is okay. He will then be able to go home or be taken to his hospital room.

  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine will decrease your child's pain. Do not let your child's pain get severe before you ask for more medicine.
    • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your child's stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
    • Antibiotics are given to prevent a bacterial infection.


Your child may feel tired for several days after the procedure. Calcium levels in your child's blood may decrease and cause numbness and tingling in his mouth, hands, or feet. The procedure may decrease the number of platelets in your child's blood and increase his risk for bleeding. Rarely, the procedure may cause fainting or vomiting.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.

Further information

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

Learn more about Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting in Children (Inpatient Care)

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