Bone Marrow Transplant - Children

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First Visit

Every young transplant patient at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is cared for by a personal pediatric team that includes a pediatric attending doctor, a primary pediatric doctor (who may be either a fellow or a physician assistant), a team nurse, a social worker, and a Child Life specialist.

Your child’s primary doctor will handle most of your child’s medical care, under the supervision and direction of the attending physician, who will be either K. Scott Baker, MD, MS, director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA, or one of several other faculty members on the pediatric transplant team.

During your child’s first visit to SCCA, you will meet your child’s primary doctor and your team nurse. The nurse will check your child’s temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, draw blood, and take a short medical history. Your nurse will also give you a tour of the transplant clinic, which is on the sixth floor of the SCCA clinic.

Your child’s primary doctor will then complete a health history and examine your child. You will be given consent forms at this time so that you have time to review them before your arrival conference.

You will be given a copy of SCCA’s “Patient & Caregiver Resource Manual” that includes information about navigating the SCCA clinic, treatment in the SCCA Inpatient Unit at Seattle Children’s, the steps in the transplantation process, caring for your child at home, long-term recovery and more. It also includes a guide to Seattle, which is helpful for our out-of-town patients.

The Arrival Conference

Next, you will sit down for a conference with your child’s attending physician and other members of your child's team to discuss a treatment plan.

This conference is usually scheduled for the second day of your visit. You may bring members of your family, including the donor, to this meeting. During the conference, your child’s doctor will explain the transplant process and discuss the treatment planned for your child, including the risks and benefits.

Your child’s attending physician will answer any questions that you may have about the treatment plan. This process is called informed consent. Once you feel that you understand the risks and benefits of the treatment planned for your child, you will be asked to sign consent forms giving us permission to treat your child. Most parents sign the consent forms during this conference.

Your child may attend this meeting or not, depending on the child’s age. You will want to discuss this issue beforehand with your child’s doctor. It is important for older children to attend this conference, so that they understand what will happen to them. The attending doctor will explain things to them in age-appropriate terms.

Typically children as young as five attend this conference, but they need not stay for the entire time.

If your child is too young to attend, this is a good time to schedule a visit with a Child Life specialist, who will use the time for medical play and getting to know your child.

This appointment is followed by an evaluation for transplant and a data-review conference.