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Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting


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 blood. The stem cells can be harvested for you or for someone else. If you are harvesting stem cells for yourself, you will receive them after you have received treatment for your disease.

How do I prepare for peripheral blood stem cell harvesting?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the procedure. Tell your healthcare provider if you think you are pregnant. Ask if you need to take a calcium supplement or eat foods high in calcium several days before your procedure. You will need medicine to increase the number of stem cells in your blood. This includes injections for about 5 days before stem cell harvesting. You may also need blood or urine tests before having your stem cells harvested. Drink plenty fluids as directed before the procedure.

What will happen during a peripheral blood stem cell harvest?

  • Your healthcare provider will insert an IV catheter into a vein, usually in your arm. He will attach the catheter to a machine called a blood cell separator. This machine collects your blood and separates the stem cells from your blood. Then the machine returns the blood to your body through another IV catheter inserted into your other arm.
  • Tell healthcare providers if you feel pain or tingling in your 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?

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

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.