Bone marrow (stem cell) transplant is a treatment for children and adolescents with conditions such as high risk or relapsed Leukemias, some solid tumours and some blood disorders like Thalassemia, Aplastic anemia, Sickle cell anemia.
Haematopoetic Stem cells are present in bone marrow and has capacity to become red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.
At Rainbow Children’s Hospitals, we have dedicated BMT units at two of our units – Banjara Hills (Hyderabad), where children and adolescents with blood disorders receive care and hospitalization in the pediatric wards and day care center.
Answers to your most important questions:
Why choose Rainbow Children’s Hospital for my child's bone marrow transplant?
In some ways, the process for bone marrow transplant in children is similar to that for adults. But because children with blood or marrow disease face unique challenges, they will benefit from the extensive experience of Rainbow’s bone marrow transplant doctors who treat children only. They are familiar with all childhood diseases and work with a team who cares for each child in an age-appropriate manner.
The pediatric blood doctors (Haematologists) directs the immunosuppression treatment after your child's transplant. These drugs are needed to help prevent your child's body from rejecting the infusion.
A multidisciplinary team works with you and your child throughout the transplant process. This team includes a pediatric hemato-oncologist, an infectious disease doctor, pharmacists, dietitians and clinical nurse specialists.
How do I know if my child is eligible for transplant?
The transplant team evaluates your child to determine if a bone marrow transplant would be beneficial.
Where will the new bone marrow cells come from?
Your child's transplant may use bone marrow (stem) cells collected from a donor usually brother or sister, sometimes from unrelated donor or from parents. In some cases it may be from your child's blood. (Autologous transplant)
What happens before the transplant?
Children will have tests done before the transplant. If your child is having an autologous transplant, before the stem cells are collected and stored.
Who will perform the procedure?
Your child's bone marrow transplant will be performed by our bone marrow transplant physician with extensive experience in pediatric transplant.
How long will the transplant take?
The child need to be admitted to BMT unit for about 4-5 weeks. The bone marrow or stem cells are given through a vein (intravenously), like a blood transfusion. No anaesthesia is needed. After discharge, child needs to be under regular follow up for 6-12 months complete.
What can I expect after my child's transplant?
Your child will likely be in the hospital for four to five weeks, depending on the type of transplant. Your child may experience side effects from the medicine used to help the blood produce new cells. For example, he or she may need blood and platelet transfusions or develop fever.
After leaving the hospital you and your child may need to remain close to the hospital for many more weeks to be seen in the clinic before going home. Full recovery could take few months.
Outcomes following bone marrow transplantation for children depends on the indication for which it was done and who the donor was. Children who have had a bone marrow transplant may need to take extra care to avoid infections, such as colds and flu. And they'll need to visit their doctor regularly for follow-up care.
Dr.DINESH KUMAR CHIRLA
Director Intensive Care Services - Rainbow Children's Hospital MD (Pediatrics), DM (Neonate), FRCPCH (UK) Neonatal Fellow (Australia), Specialist in Neonatology (CCST, UK)