Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stem Cell Collection Begins

Today, they began the stem cell harvesting on Isabella. Since they could not use her mediport to do the harvesting, they accessed a major vein in her leg while she was sedated in the Pediatric ICU. Then, for several hours, her blood was extracted through a machine which filtered out her stem cells and returned the rest of her blood. There is so much tubing involved that an extra unit of blood was added since she is so small and a relatively high volume of her blood would be in the machine at any given time. They had to continually monitor her blood pressure and temperature to make sure that she didn't have any adverse affects to the procedure. The oncologist and nurse practitioner stayed nearby for the whole process "just in case", but the whole process went very smoothly. (They even seemed happily surprised.) During the collection, Isabella was calm and watched a movie to keep her occupied.

Once the collection was completed, they wheeled her back to her room in the Pediatrics unit. They kept the access in her leg since they will have to do another collection tomorrow and Friday. They will count the collected stem cells each day to help determine whether they will need to collect more. If they don't get enough over time, they will have to do a bone marrow aspiration, which can be really painful, but they say that is rare. Once the collection is finally complete, we go right into the next chemo cycle.

1 comment:

  1. I am happy to hear the first round of stem cell harvesting went well. I hope all is well with the rest of the children. Stay srong!!

    Katie Vasquez


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