How to Prepare for Bone Marrow Transplant?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 05, 2013

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How to Prepare for Bone Marrow Transplant

For a bone marrow transplant procedure to be carried out, a battery of tests must be performed to ensure that the patient is fit enough and ready for the procedure. Tests related to the heart, lungs, kidneys and other vitals are done especially so that their functions can be tracked as for abnormalities post the transplant procedure. In addition to these tests, basic statistics like age, extent of disease and availability of donors, must be checked thoroughly.  You will undergo pre-treatment evaluation and testing, including many blood tests and other tests, such as a chest X-ray and an echocardiogram.

If your own cells will be used, then these cells should be collected before radiation or chemotherapy begins. There are two ways, bone marrow harvesting and peripheral stem cell harvesting, by which this can be done. If donor's cells will be used, the new bone marrow infused into the patient must match the genetic makeup of the patient's own marrow. Special blood tests are conducted to determine whether or not the donor's bone marrow matches the patient's.

 [Read: What are the Risks of Bone Marrow Transplant?]

The preparations for a bone marrow transplant vary depending on the type of transplant, the disease requiring transplant, and patient's tolerance for certain medications. These may be the conditions:

  • In many cases, high doses of chemotherapy or radiation are given to the patient. This type of therapy is necessary to treat the malignancy effectively. It helps in making room in the bone marrow for the new cells to grow. Ablative therapy prevents bone marrow to produce blood cells in the body and thus it becomes empty, which makes room for the new stem cells to grow.

[Read: How is Bone Marrow Transplant done?]

  • After chemotherapy or radiation, the marrow transplant, either from bone marrow or from peripherally collected stem cells, is given through the central venous catheter into the bloodstream. This process is similar to receiving a blood transfusion. The stem cells find their way into the bone marrow and begin reproducing and establishing healthy blood cells.

[Read: Bone Marrow Transplant Cancer Treatment]

  • Supportive care is given to prevent and treat infections and side effects. This includes frequent blood tests, close monitoring of vital signs, strict measurement of input and output, weighing the patient daily, and providing a protected and sterile environment.

You should become totally familiar with all of the support services offered by the medical center where the transplant will be performed.


Read more articles on Bone Marrow Transplant


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