Among the diseases seen in childhood, genetically inherited ones have an important place. Genetically inherited hematological diseases, immune system deficiencies, and metabolic disorders cause more incidence. An essential part of many diseases, from acute leukemia involving different systems and organs to Mediterranean anemia, from neuroblastoma to multiple sclerosis, can be treated with Bone Marrow Transplantation performed in childhood. The rules to be followed after bone marrow transplantation increase the chance of success of this treatment.
Stem cells may differ according to their source.
The stem cell, which is found in the bone marrow and forms the blood cells, also called the shaped elements of the blood, is called hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells, and the process of giving the hematopoietic stem cells to the patient is called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Suppose bone marrow is used as a source of stem cells. In that case, it is called bone marrow transplantation, if peripheral blood (the blood circulating in our veins) is used, peripheral stem cell transplantation is called, and if the cord blood is used, it is called cord blood transplantation. Bone marrow transplantation is performed in various cancers and non-cancer diseases that cannot be treated with other treatment methods or have a low chance of being cured.
Bone marrow transplant is not a surgical procedure.
Before bone marrow transplantation, a treatment called a preparatory regimen, generally lasting 7-10 days, including chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy, is applied to pediatric patients. Its two primary purposes are to eliminate the stem cells of the patient in the bone marrow, make room for the healthy stem cells of the donor, and prevent the rejection of the healthy stem cells from being given by suppressing the patient’s immune system. A bone marrow transplant is not a surgical procedure or surgery. The collected stem cells are given to the patient intravenously. To minimize the risk of infection during the transfer process, patients stay in private rooms.
Bone marrow transplant does not cause health problems in stem cell donors.
First of all, the volunteers who apply are checked for contagious, immune, or infectious diseases. Donors selected from healthy people may experience mild pain, such as temporary pain lasting for a few days and bone pain due to drugs, in the area where the stem cell collection is performed. Apart from these complaints, reported no severe health problems in the donors. Should not forget that stem cell donation can save many patients’ lives, which has not shown any serious side effects.
Transplant success rates and the chance of long-term survival in children vary depending on the disease and condition of the transplant. In some diseases (for example, aplastic anemia, beta-thalassemia), the success rate of transplantation may be over 80-90%, while this rate is around 70-80% in leukemias.
Must apply nutritional measures after transplantation.
Since the immune system of the transplanted children will be weak for a certain period, should continue nutritional measures in the hospital against infections transmitted from food. Among the allowed foods; well-cooked meats and vegetables, pasteurized milk, dairy products and juices, thick-skinned fruits such as oranges and bananas, compotes, packaged products, salt and spices added during cooking, and trusted brand or boiling waters. Among the prohibited foods are raw and uncooked foods, unpasteurized products, thin-skinned fruits such as grapes and strawberries, nuts, pickled products, and unpackaged products.
Things to consider after transplant
Patients are followed closely, more frequently in the first months after bone marrow transplantation. While it takes time for the immune system to return to normal after the transplant, it should pay particular attention to the risk of infection. In this context, the points that patients with bone marrow transplants should pay attention to are as follows:
- Pay attention to personal hygiene (handwashing, bathing at least twice a week)
- should thoroughly clean the house to live in after discharge.
- The patient should stay in a separate room; should paint the walls with wipeable paint.
- Should not take visitors as much as possible, the number of visitors should be small if necessary.
- Should apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.
- Do not enter the sea and pool for one year after the transplant.
- Should not do home renovations until the immune system regains its normal function after the transplant.
- After the transplant, they should send the child to school for at least six months and continue home education.
- Should not keep pets at home and should prevent contact with animals.
- Avoid close contact with people who have received live vaccines.
- Should prefer cotton clothes instead of woolen and nylon clothes; should wash newly purchased clothes before wearing.
- Children who are taken out of the house should wear masks.
- Avoid contact with people who have an infection should avoid crowded environments and environments with a high risk of disease.
- In pediatric patients with bone marrow transplantation should strictly follow the recommended vaccination schedule.
Our health contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with scientific data on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis, or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.