Bone marrow transplant is a process that requires coordination of specialists working in different branch of medicine. It consists of a transplant team which includes specialists such as physicians who specialize in oncology, hematology, immunology and bone marrow transplantation.
There has to be a bone marrow transplant nurse coordinator, who organizes all aspects of care to be provided before and after the transplant. She has to provide education of the patient and organize diagnostic testing and follow up care.
There is a need for social workers who will help the family in dealing with issues such as lodging, transportation, finances and legal issues. There has to be involvement of dietician who will advise on the nutritional needs of the patient both before and after transplant. There are physical therapists whose job it is to help the patient to become strong and independent regarding movement after transplantation. There are several others such as pharmacist, respiratory therapist, lab technician, infectious disease specialist, dermatologist, gastroenterologist and psychologist whose evaluation and participation may be needed.
The transplantation team carries out evaluation of the patient and a decision to go ahead with bone marrow transplantation is taken based on factors such as age, overall health and medical history of the patient, progress of the disease, availability of doctors, tolerance level of the patient for specific medication and therapies, and expectation for the course of the transplant.
The patient may have to get admitted into the transplant center 10 days prior to the transplantation to get prepared. A catheter is surgically placed in a vein in the chest area. This will used for providing medications and blood products. A suitable donor whose tissue is matched with the patient has to be available for the transplant. This could be a lengthy process.
A transplant center where such facilities as mentioned above are available is the place where bone marrow transplants are carried out.
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