Types and Complications Associated With Bone Marrow Transplant

Many agents are used in transplantation, be it radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or others. All these may lead to uncomfortable side effects, and the symptoms may be experienced differently.

But some steps can help lessen the risk of such complications with a bone marrow transplant. The complications or side effects may vary based on age and health, type of transplant, the conditioning regimen, presence of different medical conditions, and many more. Read the guide below to get more information on this.

Vomiting, Diarrhoea and Nausea

It is possible that vomiting, nausea, and even diarrhoea occur with radiation, chemotherapy or gastrointestinal irritation. Antiemetics can be provided to control vomiting and nausea. The loss of fluids that is caused due to diarrhoea or vomiting can lead to dehydration. Fluids can also be provided to help with dehydration. If you want to get your diagnosis and treatment done, book an appointment at Max Healthcare today!

Pain and Mucositis

When higher doses of radiation and chemotherapy are provided, it usually targets rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells. But at times, there are normal cells known to the line within the throat, mouth, and gut that gets temporarily damaged by the treatment. It is common for people to feel pain when there are sores in the throat and mouth. When you have mucositis, it becomes hard or close to impossible to eat.

Some of the other causes of pain can include medical procedures, skin irritation due to conditioning therapy, neupogen, and many more. If your child is suffering from mucositis, the following steps can help:

● Narcotics such as morphine can be provided

● There should be proper treatment of fungal and other viral infections

● Antiseptic mouth care must be taken to prevent infection

● Your child can wash their mouth with topical anaesthetic

● Proteins and calories can also be provided via an intravenous (IV) line before diarrhoea is resolved and your child can eat again

Red Cell Counts and Low Platelets

Low platelet count and low red cell count are due to non-functioning bone marrow. A low platelet count can cause lung bleeding and bleeding in the GI tract, brain, and other body parts. This can be serious at times and can cause considerable fatigue.

Most of the children who undergo BMT will need multiple platelets and red blood cell transfusions. The requirement for blood product support will decrease as the new stem cells will begin to work. This is a common complication that is associated with bone marrow transplantation.


Infections will likely occur in a child with severe bone marrow suspension. Bacterial infections are common, and it is possible that fungal, viral, and other forms of infections also happen. Some infections can also develop later on, from weeks and months after the transplant.

Infections can also lead to an extended hospital stay, delayed engraftment, and organ damage. Antifungal medications, antibiotics, and antiviral medications can also be provided to prevent or treat bigger infections. Blood tests and other forms of studies are also performed to detect or treat infections promptly.

If an infection is suspected, multiple antibiotics will also begin, and preventive measures will be taken to lessen exposure to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens during the transplant period.

It may also include the following:

● Strict hand washing

● HEPA-filtered rooms

● Visitor restrictions

● Use of face mask outside the room

● Precautions for isolation

Overload of Fluid

Fluid overload can also result in respiratory issues, high blood pressure, and also liver damage. During bone marrow transplantation therapy, an individual is assessed for signs and symptoms of fluid overload. The patient has to be weighed at least once every day. After this, the intake and output will be recorded well, and blood chemistries will also be monitored. Medications for the elimination of excess fluid and organ function preservation may also be provided.

VOD or Veno-Occlusive Disease

This is a specific condition where the blood flow to the liver will either be partially or completely obstructed. This can lead to liver dysfunction, jaundice, swelling of the abdomen, or weight gain. In the majority of cases, VOD is either moderate or mild and can be successfully managed.

But there are also times when VOD can be serious and life-threatening too. Measures can also be taken to detect early and properly manage the condition. You must contact a reputed doctor to learn more about this issue.

Bottom Line

You can read the guide above to learn more about the complications people suffer after bone marrow transplantation. Contact the doctors of Max Healthcare if you are recommended to undergo a successful bone marrow transplantation surgery. They are one of India’s most successful and reputed groups of hospitals that perform several successful transplantation surgeries in a year.

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