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A Quick Guide To Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation

by janeausten
A Quick Guide To Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation

Blood cancer or other blood-related diseases are now common in adults due to their changing lifestyles. However, children are also affected by these diseases.

Although stem cell transplantation is a positive and beneficial treatment plan for children and adolescents suffering from certain cancers or other blood-related disorders, it has some risks also.

Read this article to learn about bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

What is the Paediatric BMT process?

When the body stops making enough healthy blood cells, in such case, the bone marrow of that person is replaced by healthy blood-forming stem cells. This transplantation process is known as bone marrow transplantation or BMT. Doctors usually suggest BMT if your children suffer from a particular type of cancer or another disease.

In this process, unhealthy stem cells are filtered and then transferred back into another sick or the same child. After that, new and healthy bone marrow grows in their body.

What are the common BMT processes?

Depending upon the process of collecting healthy blood cells, there are different BMT processes.

1. Autologous BMT process:

When there is only one donor, i.e., the donor and recipient are the same, this process is very useful.

The process of collecting stem cells can take place in two ways:

  • Collecting peripheral blood stem cells, i.e., stem cells floating in your child’s blood. This process is called apheresis.
  • Collecting stem cells from your child and placing them inside the soft center of the bone. This process is called bone marrow harvest.

2. Allogeneic BMT process:

In this process, a donor is needed who has the same or similar type of bone marrow as your child has. That person can be a sibling, parent, or an unrelated donor. The transplantation of bone marrow can be done via either apheresis or the bone marrow harvest process.

3. Umbilical cord blood transplantation process:

In this process, the umbilical cord is used to proceed with the BMT process. Just after your child’s birth, doctors will take the stem cells present in the umbilical cord and store them for later use. They can be transplanted later if required to treat various diseases. This process of developing new and healthy stem cells is more effective compared to others.

What are the diseases that the BMT process is helpful for?

BMT is very effective in treating some cancers and other diseases:  

  • Some cancers include lymphoma, leukemia, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, kidney cancer, and brain tumors.
  • Aplastic anemia.
  • Some immune deficiencies and genetic diseases.

What are the risks related to the pediatric BMT process?

This process has some life-threatening risks. Before agreeing to this process, ask the pediatric bone marrow transplantation specialist about the risks and benefits of this process.

Some risks related to this process are given below:

  • Infections.
  • Anemia.
  • Thrombocytopenia.
  • Sore mouth and gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Overload of fluids in the kidney.
  • Breathing issues.
  • Graft (or transplanted cells) failure.
  • Organ damage.
  • GVHD, i.e., Graft-Versus-Host Disease.
  • Death.

What happens before the BMT process?

  • A detailed examination of the child by the BMT experts.
  • They check the test reports and the child’s blood and organ functions.
  • Admitting the child to the transplantation center.
  • The Central venous line is placed in the child’s chest.
  • Use a channel for providing blood and medicines intravenously.

What happens during the BMT process?

  • After detecting suitable stem cells, the child is treated with a high dose of radiation or chemotherapy.
  • New stem cells are injected via an IV in the chest, i.e., via a central venous catheter.
  • New stem cells enter the bone marrow and start to make new and healthy blood cells.
  • During bone marrow infusion, the child may feel chills, hives, fever, or chest pain.

What happens after the BMT process?

  • High chances of getting an infection, bleeding, mouth sores, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or extreme weakness.
  • The child may have emotional distress issues.
  • Children stay in the supportive care unit to prevent the above problems, complications, and side effects.
  • Multiple antibiotics and other medicines are given.
  • More blood transfusions are given.
  • Some medicines are given to stop GVHD.
  • Regular blood tests are done to check the efficacy of the transplant.

What are the preventive measures given to the child after treatment?

The following preventive measures reduce the risk of infection after the BMT process. These are given below:

  • Diet restrictions.
  • Special air-filtered rooms.
  • Strict hygiene.
  • Limiting visitors.
  • Frequent bed linen changes.
  • After the procedure, regular checkups with the transplant team are a must to check the recovery process and any signs of problems or other side effects.

In the end

With continual research and improved skills and resources, Max Healthcare ensures you the best BMT treatment plan for your children. With the assurance of the best and most experienced BMT team, you can leave the health and care of your little one in the hands of Max Healthcare Group.

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