Patient First Steps

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It is a good idea for your family to make plans about how to manage your household while your child is in the hospital and during your child’s recovery.

You can also organize information at home to make things easier for family and friends who want to help. That way you can focus on your child getting better during their transplant and worry less about what needs to be done at home.

A transplant can be a stressful treatment. You will need emotional support as you plan for and go through your child’s transplant. Talk with your family and friends about your feelings.

If you have other children, let them know what to expect during and after the ill child’s treatment. It may help to talk to a social worker or counselor who has worked with other transplant patients and their families. You may want to talk to other parents who have a child who is going through a transplant or who has already had a transplant.

The transplant process begins with your child’s pre-transplant medical evaluation and treatment before your child receives the donated cells. After your child receives the transplant, the early months of recovery are also an important part of the process.

Your child’s physician and support staff will go over what to expect before, during and after the transplant. The following are important steps:

  • Evaluating the patient’s health before transplant
  • Getting a central line and entering the Hospital
  • The preparative regimen
  • Receiving the stem cells
  • Waiting for engraftment: days 0-30
  • Early recovery: days 30-100
  • Life after transplant – returning home
  • Staying healthy
  • Graft-verses-host disease (GVHD)
  • Guidelines for long-term care