Stem Cell Transplant: What to Expect
If your visit is for the day (outpatient)
Please plan to arrive to your appointment 15 minutes early. A typical visit in our clinic consists of lab work, and physical by a midlevel provider and physician, and any additional test or infusions that may be warranted. The length of visit varies but usually the average length is three hours from check-in to check out. We ask that you bring the following things to clinic with you:
- Your current insurance card
- Your child's medications
- Snacks/drinks for your child
If your visit is overnight (inpatient)
We encourage parents to stay with their children while they are hospitalized. Each patient room has accommodations for one parent to stay, including a chair or sofa that converts into a single bed. A private bath is also in each room. Food is available in our cafeteria, and you also may purchase a tray for yourself to be delivered with your child's meal.
For other family members, we recommend nearby hotels. The social services department can make referrals to the Ronald McDonald House for families of patients.
What to bring
- Your child's robe and slippers.
- Extra clothing for you and your child.
- All medicines taken by your child (give to your nurse when checking in).
- Insurance information and other important documents, including your child's immunization record.
- Any medications or other items parents will need while away from home.
Suggestions for parents
Child life specialists at Children's suggest you prepare your child for his stay by considering these ideas:
- If children are old enough to understand, tell them in advance about the upcoming hospital stay. Older children can be told about their medical condition, the procedures required and other details about hospitalization earlier than younger children. A younger child generally should not be told until a few days before the hospitalization.
- Try to answer your child's questions about the hospital honestly. You may want to try to explain what the child can expect while at the hospital.
- Reassure your child that you or another family member will be nearby while your child is in the hospital to make sure he or she is all right.
- Pack some special items from home. Familiar objects will help your child feel more comfortable in a strange place. A favorite toy can serve as a security blanket and can accompany your child into surgery, the recovery room or to the intensive care unit.
- Siblings may find a child's hospitalization almost as stressful as the patient does. Probe for and correct any misconceptions your children may have about a brother's or sister's illness or about hospital procedures. After the hospitalization is over, set aside time for communication and activities with each child individually.
- Remember, our child life staff is here to help. If you need more information or would like to speak with a child life specialist directly, please feel free to contact the child life department at 214-456-6280