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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.


The week before your child's procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your child's procedure.
  • When you take your child to see his healthcare provider, bring a list of his medicines or the medicine bottles. Tell healthcare providers if your child uses herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine. If your child is allergic to any medicine, tell his healthcare provider.
  • Your child may need medicine to increase the number of stem cells in his blood. This medicine is given about 1 week before the procedure.
  • Your child may need blood or urine tests before his procedure. He may also need x-rays, an EKG, or ultrasound. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about these or other tests he may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The day of your child's procedure:

  • Ask before you give your child any medicine on the day of his procedure. Bring a list of all the medicines your child takes, or bring his pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery on your child. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.


What will happen:

  • 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.


  • Your child cannot make it to his procedure.
  • Your child has bone or muscle pain.
  • Your child seems more upset or cries more than usual.
  • Your child has less energy or sleeps more than usual.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's procedure, medicine, or care.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your child has chest pain.
  • Your child faints.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.


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.

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

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 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 IBM Watson Health

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 (Precare)

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