Reinfusion of Stem Cells
On the day that you will be given back the previously collected stem cells (day of transplant), you will take some pre-medications. The stem cells are mixed with a preservative prior to freezing that keeps the cells nourished and healthy while frozen. In some patients, this preservative causes bothersome side effects such as blood pressure fluctuation, nausea, or headache. The medication taken in advance helps prevent or lessen these potential side effects.
You will be connected to a blood pressure machine and oxygen sensor and your vital signs will be monitored throughout the process.
Your stem cells will be brought to your room in the outpatient clinic or to your hospital room on dry ice and thawed in a body-temperature water bath. The stem cells will be drawn up into a syringe and injected by a specially trained reinfusion nurse into your CVC, right at your bedside. The reinfusion process takes from 45 minutes to 2 hours or longer, depending on the volume of stem cells that you are getting back. You will be monitored closely right after the reinfusion. You may feel tired due to the pre-medications, but should not have any significant side effects from the reinfusion itself.