The Risk of Transplantation
Bone marrow and stem cell transplantation can be followed by the certain side effects. It is rather important for doctors to recognize these side effects on time, to act properly and administer adequate therapy. Patients who have undergone transplantation are administered certain medications that will prevent rejection of the transplant. The medications may be responsible for majority of side effects. Possible side effects most commonly occur a few weeks after the transplantation. The moment the blood count starts to improve the patient will feel much better and the risk of complications will be significantly reduced.
Medications that are administered to prevent rejection of a transplant may cause infertility and in the worst case if these medications do not express full effect a patient may develop graft-versus-host-disease and the transplant may be rejected.
Side Effects of Bone Marrow TransplantationInfectionsAfter transplantation a patient has low number of leukocytes. This increases the chances of infections. Even the bacteria that are normally present in our body or on our skin may lead to serious infections. This complication can be successfully prevented with antibiotic and special mouthwashes.The infection can be also caused by food and this is why patients must avoid the food that is brought by their relatives and stick to the food prepared in hospital. Additional prevention is proper hygiene of the room the patient is lying in. Relatives may be allowed for visits but they have to wear protective masks and gloves. Visitors need to be healthy and if they have cold or any other infection they must not come near the patient.AnemiaDecreased number of red blood cells is also normal after the treatment and this condition will improve in time. Anemia leads to exhaustion of the patient and lack of energy. Some patients require blood transfusions. There is a possibility of reaction to blood transfusion especially in those patients who have already received blood transfusions. This complication can be easily prevented with proper premedication.BleedingBleeding is another possible side effect of bone marrow transplantation. It is caused by thrombocytopenia or low number of platelets. The blood may be present in urine or stool and a patient may notice bruises or small red dots on the skin. Bleeding from gums and nose may occur as well. Patients are taken care of with platelet transfusions. The number of platelets will eventually come to normal but it will take certain time to achieve this.Sickness and DiarrheaSickness and diarrhea in patients who have undergone bone marrow transplantation are mostly caused by antibiotics. Diarrhea can be side effect of the very surgical procedure.Sore MouthMouths ulcers as well as sore mouth are common side effects. The condition is treated with mouthwashes and lozenges. Pain due to mouth ulcers may be also relieved with painkillers. This side effect can additionally interfere in eating and the patient may lose appetite. If a patient cannot eat he/ she will be given high calorie drinks and protein drinks.