Bone Marrow Transplant
What is bone marrow transplant?
Bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant is an alternative treatment which can help patient completely recover from life-threatening disease by taking healthy bone marrow stem cells from others or from the patients themselves to treat related medical problems such as thalassemia, aplastic anemia and some genetic disorders.
Source and the process of taking bone marrow from the giver/donor
From bone marrow inside the bones, the doctor uses the needle to insert into the bone (the top ridge of the rear hipbone) of the donor who will be put under general anesthesia. The donor feels some soreness in the hip area for around 2-3 days but it will not harm the donor since bone marrow will regenerate itself to what is taken. After that, stem cell will be processed and infused into the patient vein.
From the blood of the donor, the donors will be given a medication that increases the number of blood-forming cells in their bloodstream. Donor’s blood will be passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells and the remaining blood is returned to their body.
From blood taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby, umbilical cord blood cells are taken from the baby’s placenta after the baby is born.
Who can be bone marrow donor?
The best donor should be someone who most closely matches the patient tissue. Identical twin born from the single egg can be the best donor but since identical twins represent a small number of all births, bone marrow is mostly obtained from siblings with 25% of bone marrow matching.
If siblings cannot be the donor, we can look for other stem cell donors. Using the patient own stem cells, stem cells are either collected from the blood which is passed through a machine for stem cells separation or extracted from patient own marrow. The advantage of this method is that the chance of body in rejecting donated stem cells is decreased but aplastic anemia, chemotherapy or radiation therapy which was given earlier can lead patients not to have enough stem cells. Patients with cancer are also more likely to develop cancer again.
How to give bone marrow
Stem cells are given into patient vein through a central venous catheter.
Complications: parents have to learn how to manage it
Possible complication of a bone marrow transplant is a reaction of cells from donor to the patient which causes different symptoms such as diarrhea, rash, and jaundice. This also includes the risk of infection, bleeding, and poor appetite which can be so severe that the patients may die. Therefore, parents who take care of the patient must understand the process of bone marrow treatment, and make sure that the patient strictly follows doctor instructions to decrease the chance of certain complications.
Bone marrow transplant can increase patient quality of life and life expectancy as well as the opportunity to recover fully from severe, difficult –to-treat and painful diseases particularly in children who are the future of the nation, bringing a fresh, lively and healthy life to them.
You may find our specialist here at Pediatric Center, Phyathai 2 Hospital
Phyathai 2 Hospital
International Correspondence Center
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