It takes two to three weeks for the stem cells to mature and begin to produce significant numbers of new blood cells, which is called engraftment. Although engraftment begins two to three weeks after transplantation, it can take months or years for the entire immune system to fully recover.
The first 100 days is a critical time in the transplant process. Children’s National transplant team monitors patients closely for infections and low blood counts, requiring patients to remain in the Washington, D.C. area for frequent follow-up visits. Depending on a child’s condition, he or she may need to stay in the hospital.
After a patient receives BMT and passes the high infection-risk period, he or she returns home to the care of his or her primary subspecialist for further treatment or follow-up visits. Children’s National's transplant doctors remain available to treat, or help a child’s subspecialist treat any transplant-related complications.