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Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting In Children


What do I need to know about peripheral blood stem cell harvesting?

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.

How do help my child prepare for peripheral blood stem cell harvesting?

Your child's healthcare provider will talk to you about how help your child prepare for the procedure. For several days before his procedure, your child may need to eat foods high in calcium, such as milk and yogurt. Your child may also need medicine to increase the number of stem cells in his blood. This includes injections for about 5 days before stem cell harvesting. Your child may need blood or urine tests before having his stem cells harvested. Have him drink plenty fluids as directed before the procedure.

What will happen during a peripheral blood stem cell harvest?

  • 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.

What are the risks of peripheral blood stem cell harvesting?

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. 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.

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Further information

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

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