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Most children with SCID are treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or HSCT, also known as a bone marrow transplantation. HSCT is a challenging medical process that can take several months to complete. Most hospitals have a stem cell transplant patient coordinator who works with the family to guide them through the steps involved in HSCT.

In this treatment, hematopoietic stem cells are taken from a donor. The hematopoietic stem cells that are taken from the donor are infused into a child with SCID. Those cells multiply over time and develop an immune system for the child.

The reason these hematopoietic stem cells are used is because they are blood-forming cells. The hematopoietic stem cells produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. White blood cells are the immune system cells comprised of neutrophils, T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. White blood cells are the ones that provide people with a working immune system. Most of the white blood cells are lacking in a child with SCID, and an HSCT fixes that problem.

Choosing a Transplant Center

Under some insurances, families can research facilities and doctors and choose what they think is best. Regardless, parents should ask key questions of the transplantation specialists.

Finding a Donor & Donor Sources

Before a child undergoes the HSCT, a donor must be found. Find out what is involved in this process.

Stem Cell Donation Procedure

Once a donor is found, the hematopoietic stem cells are taken from the donor through one of three processes.


Learn about the steps that often take place prior to transplant day.

Transplant Day & Recovery Process

Find out what to expect on transplant day, and post-transplant recovery.

Complications from HSCT

Find out about the possible complications and side effects that could occur when a child has an HSCT.
IDF Guide to Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

This guide includes Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) approaches that could potentially benefit patients with several types of primary immunodeficiency diseases (PI). Subsequent chapters provide more details as to how a patient is prepared for a transplant, what the transplant experience is like, and what life can be like after a transplant.

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