Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
United Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
A stem cell transplant is when doctors put healthy stem cells into someone’s bloodstream to replace their stem cells.
It can take a while to feel better after a stem cell transplant, but the treatment can be very helpful for some illnesses.
Stem cells are cells that can develop into many different types of cells. The stem cells used for transplants form blood cells. They become:
Stem cell transplants can help people with:
Doctors can get the stem cells from the:
(this is also called a bone marrow transplant)
A person who provides the stem cells is a donor. For some illnesses, people can be their own donor. Their stem cells are taken out, frozen, and transplanted back later. Other times, someone else donates the stem cells.
When stem cells come from another person, the stem cells must have similar genetic makeup. Usually, a child’s brother or sister is a good match. A parent or even an unrelated person sometimes can be a match.
If the donor stem cells are not a good match (and sometimes even if they are):
Before a stem cell transplant, doctors place a central line (or central venous catheter). This type of IV (intravenous) line goes into the skin and into a large vein near the heart. A central line can stay in the body longer than a regular IV. It gives the medical team a way to give medicines and collect blood for testing without doing a lot of needle sticks.
Stem cell transplants are done in the hospital. First, the person getting the donated stem cells has high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation to:
Then, the person gets the donor stem cells through an intravenous line (IV).
After someone has a stem cell transplant, their body needs time to make new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. During this time, they’re at a higher risk for infections, bleeding, and other problems.
Most people stay in the hospital for 3–5 weeks after the transplant. Their medical team will:
It takes a child’s immune system about a year to recover after a stem cell transplant. Until then, kids can get very sick from infections. Even a mild infection, like a cold, can be serious. To help your child avoid infections:
Follow your medical team’s instructions for:
Most kids who have had a stem cell transplant feel better over time after they leave the hospital. It’s a lot for a child and family to manage the hospital stay and the recovery period. Find support through other family members, your medical team, a counselor, or social worker. Taking care of yourself will help you take care of your child.
To help your child recover and stay healthy:
Call your doctor right away if your child:
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer. Because it develops and gets worse quickly, prompt treatment is very important. With treatment, most kids are cured.
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is an immune deficiency that can be successfully treated if it’s found early.
Leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells. With the proper treatment, the outlook for kids with leukemia is quite good.
Easy-to-understand definitions of some key transplant terms.
Certain cancers, or cancer treatment, can weaken the immune system, requiring a child to stay home to avoid exposure to germs. Here are ways to help your child make the best of it.
Learn about neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that develops in infants and young children.
A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy are performed to examine bone marrow, the spongy liquid part of the bone where blood cells are made.
Stem cells can develop into cells with different skills, so they’re useful in treating diseases like cancer.
Alpha thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing alpha globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Beta thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing beta globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Taking care of a chronically ill child is one of the most draining and difficult tasks a parent can face. But support groups, social workers, and family friends often can help.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) happens when the body makes too many immature white blood cells. Among kids with leukemia, 20% have this type. With treatment, most recover.
Wilms tumor is a cancer of the kidneys that usually affects newborns and the very young. Fortunately, most kids with Wilms tumor survive and go on to live normal, healthy lives.
Should you bank your newborn’s cord blood? This article can help you decide.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the body’s lymphatic tissue. It’s a common type of cancer in children, but most recover from it.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) is a is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The majority of kids with this type of cancer are cured.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out how to help your child.
Here are the basics about the life-sustaining fluid called blood.
Lupus is known as an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system mistakenly works against the body’s own tissues.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.