Your Child's Transplant

The day of your child’s BMT

The day of your child’s transplant is called Day 0. Your child will get the new blood stem cells through the central venous line (CVL). Here is how your child will get his treatment:

  • For an allogeneic BMT transplant, cells are placed in a sterile bag and given through a CVL. This should take a few hours.
  • For an autologous BMT transplant, your child’s cells will be thawed and will be given to him by a syringe. This takes 10 to 20 minutes.

Engraftment is the when healthy donor cells begin to grow. It usually happens about 10 to 28 days after the BMT.

There are three ways to collect healthy blood or bone marrow, called a graft, for BMT:

Bone Marrow

For a bone marrow collection, blood stem cells are most often collected from bone marrow in the hip bone. The hip bone has a large amount of bone marrow and is easy to get. The collection is done in the operating room while the donor is under general anesthesia.

The total amount of cells removed depends on the weight of your child and the weight of the donor. The bone marrow collection takes about one hour.

Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection

Blood moving through the bloodstream is called peripheral blood. Blood stem cells can be removed from the peripheral blood. The donor may receive a medicine called a growth factor (GCSF or GMCSF). This medicine helps the bone marrow make a lot of new blood stem cells quickly and pushes them into the bloodstream.

The blood stem cells are collected through a large I.V. in the arm or central venous line (CVL) into a machine, called an apheresis machine, and returns other important cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma) back into the donor’s blood. The machine does not cause pain.

Umbilical Cord Blood Collection

The placenta and umbilical cord of a newborn baby are a rich source of blood stem cells.

The blood stem cells can be collected when a baby is born by cutting the umbilical cord or removing the blood from the cord and placenta right away.