Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a specialized treatment for people suffering from certain malignancies or illnesses. A bone marrow transplant involves the following steps. 

  • Extracting cells found in bone marrow (stem cells).
  • Purifying those cells.
  • Returning them to the donor (patient) or another person.

BMT transfuses healthy bone marrow cells into a person with damaged stem cells. This is a complex procedure, but when done by professionals, it offers several benefits. 

Since 1968, bone marrow transplantation has successfully treated leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, immune deficiency syndromes, and various solid tumor malignancies. However, according to a report, patients report complications of bone marrow transplantation. 

Side Effects of Bone Marrow Transplantation

A bone marrow transplant is a significant medical treatment. However, there is a considerable risk of problems during and after the procedure. Also, the chance of facing such complications is determined by several factors, including:

  • The individual’s age
  • Overall health
  • The type of transplant
  • The cause of their transplant

Many of the problems can happen soon after a bone marrow transplant. So, when you have a transplant, your transplant team can help you deal with some side effects. You can do some things to avoid, and most can be treated to make you feel better. If you have one of these problems, it’s important to call your doctor or transplant team immediately. The most common side effects include

  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Infection
  • Bleeding and transfusion
  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
  • Graft failure

Complications of Bone Marrow Transplantation

In recent years, there has been a lot of progress in the treatment of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Also, there has been advancement in other potentially life-threatening side effects of ablative chemotherapy. People who get ablative therapy for BMT often have other problems, like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and mouth sores. Therefore, the goal of the study was to learn more about how patients feel when they have a transplant. The same professional medical interviewer talked to 38 people who received ablative therapy for bone marrow and/or peripheral blood stem cell transplants. The average age of the people was 46.9 years. 

Outcomes of the Research

People who took part in the study were identified through doctors and referrals of patients, cancer and bone marrow transplant support groups, and newspaper ads. 74 percent of the patients had autologous stem cell transplants, and 10 patients had allogeneic transplants. Participants said that mouth sores, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue were the most bothersome side effects of their transplants, but they were not the only ones. Mouth sores were chosen as the most debilitating side effect by 42% of people, then nausea and vomiting (13 percent).

A lot of people said that having mouth sores made it hard or impossible to eat, drink, swallow, and/or talk. Moreover, twenty people said they had pain in their mouth, throat, or esophagus. Two-thirds (66%) of patients took opioid analgesics, most often morphine, to relieve pain in their mouths. A lot of people who took opioids had to side effects that were very bad for them, such as hallucinations, a loss of control, and a decrease in mental acuity. In fact, people who get ablative chemotherapy say that oral mucositis is a major source of pain and illness. Effective ways to deal with this problem are crucial.

Causes of Infections

Infections after a bone marrow transplant are usually caused by:

  • First Month: bacteria, fungi, and the herpes simplex virus
  • Second Month: CMV, other viruses, bacteria, and fungi
  • Third Month: varicella-zoster virus, bacteria, fungi, or a virus that people get from other people in the community.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplant in India are more common than autologous bone marrow transplants. In patients with graft-versus-host disease, these are more common (GvHD).

Preventing Complications After BMT

After a transplant, your immune system is weak, and you are more likely to get sick. Even though your white blood cell count might be “normal,” your immune system is still getting better and stronger. As a result, infections may still happen. Patients who receive Autologous transplants and allogeneic transplant should follow doctor’s instructions and make some healthy changes in their lives.