HealthSheets™


Discharge Instructions for Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant

Bone marrow transplant is a procedure used to treat many diseases such as:

  • Blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma

  • Solid tumors such as testicular cancer

  • Blood diseases such as aplastic anemia

  • Immune and genetic diseases

After bone marrow transplant, your risk of infection is greater because your immune system is weak for up to 6 months after the transplant. Protect yourself from infection by following the guidelines and precautions on this sheet.

Activity

  • Increase your activity slowly.

  • Begin light exercise such as walking.

  • Get plenty of rest and take breaks between activities.

  • Check with your healthcare provider before driving a car.

  • Don’t swim until the central venous catheters have been removed.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can expect to return to work or school.

  • Avoid riding bicycles or motorcycles until your healthcare provider says it is OK. 

Skin care

  • Take care of your skin:

    • Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom.

    • Wash your hands before and after caring for your central venous catheter, if you have one.

    • Use an electric razor for shaving.

  • Protect your skin from the sun:

    • Use hypoallergenic sunscreen with SPF of 15 or greater.

    • Avoid direct sun exposure on your skin.

    • Cover your head with a wig, scarf, or cap when you are outside.

Limit exposure to bacteria

  • Check with your healthcare provider before having intimate contact with anyone.

  • Wear a mask when you walk through the hospital.

  • Ask your healthcare provider before using certain cosmetics, contact lenses, tampons, and douches.

  • Avoid public places such as shopping malls, especially during holidays and big sales events, until your immune system has recovered. 

  • Avoid contact with anyone who has a cold, the flu, or another contagious condition (like measles, chicken pox, herpes, viruses, pinkeye, coughs, sore throats).

  • Limit visits with young children. They frequently have colds or the flu.

  • Follow a low-bacteria diet. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about this diet.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about contact with pets or animals. Use good handwashing and cleaning methods when coming in contact with any animal.

    • Wash your hands immediately after animal contact.

    • Avoid contact with pet urine or feces.

    • Don’t clean litter boxes, cages, or aquariums.

  • Keep your home clean.

    • Clean floors, carpets, furniture, and countertops regularly.

    • Be sure your bathroom is clean.

    • Wash your hands after handling trash.

Limit exposure to other substances

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.

  • Don’t do yard work such as gardening, mowing the lawn, or raking leaves. Don’t handle cut flowers or potted plants until your healthcare provider says it is OK.

  • Don’t work on cars or machinery.

  • Wear a mask when you are near construction areas, windy places, or any area with dust or fumes.

  • Avoid chemicals and fumes such as gasoline, fuel oil, paints, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

  • Don’t use portable humidifiers or vaporizers.

Medicine

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is very important that you follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully, and always take your medicines.

  • Don’t take any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or herbal remedies unless you have discussed it with your healthcare provider first.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects.

Follow-up

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Any bleeding

  • Vomiting, with or without blood

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Shaking chills

  • Shortness of breath

  • Severe headache or confusion

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Diarrhea that does not go away after 2 loose stools

  • Belly pain or cramping

  • Any chest pain

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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